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In Search of the Right Tool: From Formalism to Constructivist Modelling


  • Sandye Gloria-Palermo

    University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, France)


The object of this paper is to assert the implications, in terms of practices of the community of economists, of the adoption of specific mathematical tools. More precisely, the aim of this paper is to assert the non-neutrality of the mathematical tools used by economists and to show that, after half a century of domination of a peculiar vision of mathematics, namely formalism, economics is ready to switch to a diverse conception thanks to the availability of new mathematical tools, constructivist tools.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2013. "In Search of the Right Tool: From Formalism to Constructivist Modelling," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-33, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2013-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe Mongin, 2003. "L'axiomatisation et les théories économiques," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 54(1), pages 99-138.
    2. Robert J. Leonard, 1995. "From Parlor Games to Social Science: Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory, 1928-1994," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 730-761, June.
    3. Nicolaas J. Vriend, 2002. "Was Hayek an Ace?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(4), pages 811-840, April.
    4. Bruce Caldwell, 2004. "Some Reflections on F.A. Hayek's The Sensory Order," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 239-254, October.
    5. David Colander, 2000. "New Millennium Economics: How Did It Get This Way, and What Way Is It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 121-132, Winter.
    6. Hahn, Frank, 1991. "The Next Hundred Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(404), pages 47-50, January.
    7. Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2010. "Introducing Formalism in Economics: The Growth Model of John von Neumann," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 153-172, June.
    8. Oprea, Ryan D & Wagner, Richard E, 2003. "Institutions, Emergence, and Macro Theorizing: A Review Essay on Roger Garrison's Time and Money," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 97-109, March.
    9. Blaug, Mark, 2003. "The Formalist Revolution of the 1950s," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(02), pages 145-156, June.
    10. Chad Seagren, 2011. "Examining social processes with agent-based models," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 1-17, March.
    11. Nicola Giocoli, 2001. "Fixing the point: the contribution of early game theory to the tool-box of modern economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 1-39.
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    More about this item


    Formalism; constructivism; axiomatics; Austrian economics;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
    • C69 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Other


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