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On the application of mathematics to political economy. The Edgeworth-Walras-Bortkievicz Controversy, 1889-1891



In the period of the first spread and consolidation of mathematical economics there was impotant debate on Walras's theory of exchange involving Edgeworth, Walras and Bortkievicz directly, and Marshall indirectly. The dispute may be traced back to issues involving the role of abstract reasoning and the use of mathematics in economics. The discussion reveals the clash of different methodological requirements: on the one hand, there is Walras's requirement of rigour and simplicity allowed by the reduction of economics to mathematical treatment; on the other hand, there is Edgeworth's requirement of greater realism in the model. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.
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  • Marchionatti Roberto, 2003. "On the application of mathematics to political economy. The Edgeworth-Walras-Bortkievicz Controversy, 1889-1891," CESMEP Working Papers 200306, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:cesmep:200306

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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Marchionatti Author-Email:, 2016. "Economic Theories in Competition A New Narrative of the Debate on the General Economic Equilibrium Theory in the 1930s," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 63(5), pages 503-523, December.
    2. Marchionatti, Roberto & Sella, Lisa, 2015. "Is Neo-Walrasian Macroeconomics a Dead End?," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201521, University of Turin.
    3. Petri, Fabio, 2016. "Walras on capital: interpretative insights from a review by Bortkiewicz," Centro Sraffa Working Papers CSWP17, Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione "Piero Sraffa".
    4. stephane verani, 2005. "An Inquiry Into the Causes and Nature of Walras' Theory of Tatonnement," Economic History 0504001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Franco DONZELLI, 2009. "Edgeworth vs. Walras on equilibrium and disequilibrium," Departmental Working Papers 2009-47, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

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