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“Our daily bread”: Maurice Potron, from Catholicism to mathematical economics

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  • BIDARD, Christian
  • ERREYGERS, Guido
  • PARYS, Wilfried

Abstract

Maurice Potron (1872-1942) is a French Jesuit and mathematician whose main source of inspiration in economics is the encyclical Rerum Novarum. With virtually no knowledge in economic theory, he wrote down a linear model of production in which he formalized the notions of just prices and just wages. As early as 1911, he used the Perron-Frobenius theorem to prove the existence of a positive solution and established a duality result between the quantity side and the price side of the model. He returned to economics in the 1930s, but in both periods he failed to make a lasting impression upon economists.

Suggested Citation

  • BIDARD, Christian & ERREYGERS, Guido & PARYS, Wilfried, 2007. "“Our daily bread”: Maurice Potron, from Catholicism to mathematical economics," Working Papers 2007007, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2007007
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    File URL: https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/3334a7/935f376b.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 1911. "The Principles of Scientific Management," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number taylor1911.
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    Cited by:

    1. PARYS, Wilfried, 2013. "All but one: How pioneers of linear economics overlooked Perron-Frobenius mathematics," Working Papers 2013030, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Potron; Just prices; Just wages; Catholic doctrine; Perron-Frobenius; Hawkins-Simon; Duality; Linear model of production; Social question;

    JEL classification:

    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals

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