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CHARLES RICHARD DE BUTRÉ: PIONEER OF MATHEMATICAL ECONOMICS

Loïc Charles () and Théré, Christine

Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2016, vol. 38, issue 3, 311-327

Abstract: Historians of economics have acknowledged the significant role François Quesnay and the Physiocrats played in the early development of mathematical economics. It is, however, important to note that although the Tableau économique could well be translated into algebra, Quesnay never did it. As part of our research on Charles Richard de Butré, an obscure collaborator of François Quesnay, we have uncovered documents that show that he was one Physiocrat who did use algebra to explain his theoretical conceptions. In two texts written at the end of 1766 and the beginning of 1767, Butré systematically used algebra as an aid for economic reasoning. Our argument is that these texts provide very interesting insights into the development of early mathematical economics.

Date: 2016
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