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Ragnar Frisch’s Axiomatic Approach to Econometrics

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  • Bjerkholt, Olav

    () (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

Abstract

Ragnar Frisch’s concept of econometrics was broader in scope than the more restricted connotation it has today as a sub-discipline of economics, it may be more properly rendered as a reconstruction of economics along principles inspired and drawn from natural sciences. In this reconstruction an axiomatic approach played a key role. The general aim of Frisch’s axiomatic approach was to argue in favour of using axiomatics as a basis for theorizing in economics and the modelling of individual behaviour. His first axiomatic approach was undertaken in 1926. In 1933 Frisch presented an extended set of axioms for quantifying utility in a lecture series in Paris. Frisch returned yet another time to the same topic when he attended a research conference at Cowles Commission in 1937. He presented then a more general choice-field theory, the core of which was a system of axioms for individual behaviour, published only as a (long) abstract. After this latter attempt Frisch’s interest in explicitly axiomatization seem to have waned, although his promotion of axiomatics in economics may be traced in some other of his contributions. As a national accounting pioneer Frisch also argued for an axiomatic approach towards national accounting. The article is amended from a paper originally presented at Axiomatics in Economics: the Rise and Fall, European Conference on the History of Economics, Siena, 4-6 October, 2007.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjerkholt, Olav, 2012. "Ragnar Frisch’s Axiomatic Approach to Econometrics," Memorandum 21/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2012_021
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    File URL: https://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/unpublished-works/working-papers/pdf-files/2012/memo-21-2012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. E. H. Phelps Brown, 1934. "Notes on the Determinateness of the Utility Function: I," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 66-69.
    2. Frisch, Ragnar, 1992. "Statics and dynamics in economic theory," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 391-401, December.
    3. D. Wade Hands, 2006. "Integrability, Rationalizability, and Path-Dependency in the History of Demand Theory," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 38(5), pages 153-185, Supplemen.
    4. Philip Mirowski & D. Wade Hands, 2006. "Introduction to Agreement on Demand: Consumer Theory in the Twentieth Century," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 38(5), pages 1-6, Supplemen.
    5. Jevons, William Stanley, 1871. "The Theory of Political Economy," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number jevons1871.
    6. O. Lange, 1934. "The Determinateness of the Utility Function," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 218-225.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dagsvik, John K, 2017. "Invariance Axioms and Functional Form Restrictions in Structural Models," Memorandum 08/2017, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. repec:eee:matsoc:v:91:y:2018:i:c:p:85-95 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ragnar Frisch; axiomatics;

    JEL classification:

    • B23 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Econometrics; Quantitative and Mathematical Studies
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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