Secrets Hidden by Two-Dimensionality: The Economy as a Hydraulic Machine

MODEL: THE THIRD DIMENSION OF SCIENCE, pp. 369-401, S. de Chadarevian and N. Hopwood, eds., Standford University Press, 2004

Posted: 18 Jul 2009  

Mary S. Morgan

London School of Economics; University of Amsterdam

Marcel J. Boumans

Utrecht University School of Economics

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Morgan, Mary S. and Boumans, Marcel J., Secrets Hidden by Two-Dimensionality: The Economy as a Hydraulic Machine (2004). MODEL: THE THIRD DIMENSION OF SCIENCE, pp. 369-401, S. de Chadarevian and N. Hopwood, eds., Standford University Press, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1434407

Mary S. Morgan (Contact Author)

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

University of Amsterdam

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Marcel J. Boumans

Utrecht University School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, +31 30 253 7373 3584 EC
Netherlands
+31 30 253 6287 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uu.nl/leg/staff/MJBoumans

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