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Models as ‘analytical similes’: on Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to economic methodology

Quentin Couix ()

Journal of Economic Methodology, 2021, vol. 28, issue 2, 165-185

Abstract: This paper investigates the methodology of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen and his conception of economic models as analytical similes. His approach has received little attention from mathematical economists and economic methodologists. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to characterize his perspective and situate it in the broader spectrum of economic methodologies. It shows that Georgescu-Roegen criticized the lack of significance of certain economic models and attempted to give philosophical foundations to this criticism. He also provided a set of methodological principles that are illustrated by his practice of economic modeling. This perspective placed Georgescu-Roegen in opposition to the axiomatic approach that dominated postwar economics, and in line with economists such as Marshall, Wicksell, and Keynes, on the limited and subordinate role of mathematics in the discipline. Overall, the paper shows that Georgescu-Roegen's methodological contribution is still relevant to contemporary debates on the status of economic models.

Date: 2021
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Working Paper: Models as ‘analytical similes’: on Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to economic methodology (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Models as ‘analytical similes’: on Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to economic methodology (2021) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/1350178X.2021.1880614

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