Secrets Hidden by Two-Dimensionality: The Economy as a Hydraulic Machine
Mary S. Morgan
London School of Economics; University of Amsterdam
Marcel J. Boumans
University of Amsterdam; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE); Tinbergen Institute
MODEL: THE THIRD DIMENSION OF SCIENCE, pp. 369-401, S. de Chadarevian and N. Hopwood, eds., Standford University Press, 2004
A long-standing tradition presents economic activity in terms of the flow of fluids. This metaphor lies behind a small but influential practice of hydraulic modelling in economics. Yet turning the metaphor into a three-dimensional hydraulic model of the economic system entails making numerous and detailed commitments about the analogy between hydraulics and the economy. The most famous 3-D model in economics is probably the Phillips machine, the central object of this paper.
Keywords: metaphor, analogy, model, Phillips machine
JEL Classification: B22, B00
Date posted: July 18, 2009
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