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The Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics in Economics

  • K. Vela Velupillai

    (Department of Economics, National University of Ireland, Galway)

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    In this paper I attempt to show that mathematical economics is unreasonably ineffective. Unreasonable, because the mathematical assumptions are economically unwarranted; ineffective because the mathematical formalizations imply nonconstructive and uncomputable structures. A reasonable and effective mathematization of economics entails Diophantine formalisms. These come with natural undecidabilities and uncomputabilites. In the face of this, I conjecture that an economics for the future will be freer to explore experimental methodologies underpinned by alternative mathematical structures. The whole discussion is framed within the context of the celebrated Wignerian theme: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.

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    Paper provided by National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0080.

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    Date of creation: 2004
    Date of revision: 2004
    Handle: RePEc:nig:wpaper:0080
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    1. Pugno, Maurizio, 2006. "The service paradox and endogenous economic growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 99-115, January.
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    7. Kumaraswamy Velupillai, 2003. "Economics and the complexity vision: chimerical partners or elysian adventurers," Department of Economics Working Papers 0307, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
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    12. Hubert Gabrisch & Maria Luigia Segnana, 2002. "Why is trade between the European Union and the transition economies vertical?," Department of Economics Working Papers 0207, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    13. Maurizio Pugno, 2000. "Under Tertiarisation and Unemployment," Department of Economics Working Papers 0004, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    14. Giuseppe Espa & Roberto Benedetti & Anna De Meo & Salvatore Espa, 2003. "Mappe di probabilità di sito archeologico: un passo avanti," Department of Economics Working Papers 0302, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    15. Luigi Bonatti & Carlo Borzaga & Luigi Mittone, 2005. "Profit versus Nonprofit Firms in the Service Sector: A Formal Analysis of the Employment and Welfare Implications," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(3), pages 137-164, May-June.
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