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