Exegesis of Digital Text from the History of Economic Thought: A Comparative Exploratory Test
Textual material relevant to the history of economic thought is today readily available in various digitised forms. This raises the possibility of exegesis being undertaken with the aid of software designed for the purpose of textual analysis. This paper provides an exploratory test of Leximancer, a text analytics program that extracts the content of text, or collections of text, in order to quantify and display the conceptual structure of text content in a visually informative way. The relevance of one particular software product – Leximancer – as a tool enhancing textual exegesis undertaken for the history of economic thought is considered. The exploratory test is a comparative analysis of A.C. Pigou’s first chapter in Wealth and Welfare (1912) and the first chapter of The Economics of Welfare (1920).
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