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Reconsideration of Dimensions and Curve Fitting Practice in Economics Elaborating on Georgescu-Roegen’s Economic Methodology

  • Kozo Mayumi

    (Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokushima)

  • Mario Giampietro

    (Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

  • Jesus Ramos-Martin

    (Departament d'Economia i d'Història Econòmica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

This paper is to examine the proper use of dimensions and curve fitting practices elaborating on Georgescu-Roegen’s economic methodology in relation to the three main concerns of his epistemological orientation. Section 2 introduces two critical issues in relation to dimensions and curve fitting practices in economics in view of Georgescu-Roegen’s economic methodology. Section 3 deals with the logarithmic function (ln z) and shows that z must be a dimensionless pure number, otherwise it is nonsensical. Several unfortunate examples of this analytical error are presented including macroeconomic data analysis conducted by a representative figure in this field. Section 4 deals with the standard Cobb-Douglas function. It is shown that the operational meaning cannot be obtained for capital or labor within the Cobb-Douglas function. Section 4 also deals with economists’ ?curve fitting fetishism?. Section 5 concludes this paper with several epistemological issues in relation to dimensions and curve fitting practices in economics.

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Paper provided by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica in its series UHE Working papers with number 2011_05.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:uhewps:2011_05
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  1. Ramos-Martin, Jesus & Giampietro, Mario & Mayumi, Kozo, 2007. "On China's exosomatic energy metabolism: An application of multi-scale integrated analysis of societal metabolism (MSIASM)," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 174-191, June.
  2. Jesús Ramos Martín, 2003. "Empiricism in ecological economics: a perspective from complex systems theory," UHE Working papers 2003_03, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Departament d'Economia i Història Econòmica, Unitat d'Història Econòmica.
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