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Toolism! A Critique of Econophysics


  • Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont


Economists are fond of the physicists’ powerful tools. As a popular mindset Toolism is as old as economics but the transplants failed to produce the same successes as in their aboriginal environment. Economists therefore looked more and more to the math department for inspiration. Now the tide turns again. The ongoing crisis discredits standard economics and offers the chance for a comeback. Modern econophysics commands the most powerful tools and argues that there are many occasions for their application. The present paper argues that it is not a change of tools that is most urgently needed but a paradigm change.

Suggested Citation

  • Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2013. "Toolism! A Critique of Econophysics," MPRA Paper 46630, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46630

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2011. "Reconstructing the Quantity Theory (I)," MPRA Paper 32421, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, January.
    3. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2013. "Confused confusers. How to stop thinking like an economist and start thinking like a scientist," MPRA Paper 44046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2012. "Crisis and methodology: some heterodox misunderstandings," MPRA Paper 43260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Gallegati, Mauro & Keen, Steve & Lux, Thomas & Ormerod, Paul, 2006. "Worrying trends in econophysics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 370(1), pages 1-6.
    6. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2012. "Keynes’s employment function and the gratuitous Phillips curve disaster," MPRA Paper 43111, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2012. "General formal foundations of the virtuous deficit–profit symmetry and the vicious debt deflation," MPRA Paper 42912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. McCauley, Joseph L., 2006. "Response to worrying trends in econophysics," MPRA Paper 2129, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Chick, Victoria, 1998. "On Knowing One's Place: The Role of Formalism in Economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1859-1869, November.
    10. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2013. "Walras’s law of markets as special case of the general Triangle Theorem: a laconic proof," MPRA Paper 44547, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. T.A. Boylan & P.F. O'Gorman, 2007. "Axiomatization And Formalism In Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 426-446, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stavros Drakopoulos & Ioannis Katselidis, 2015. "From Edgeworth to econophysics: a methodological perspective," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 77-95, March.

    More about this item


    new framework of concepts; structure-centric; axiom set; paradigm; income; profit; money; invariance principle;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B16 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Quantitative and Mathematical
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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