Death of a Metaphor: The Invisible Hand

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, vol 4, no 1, p 15-29, 2013

17 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2012 Last revised: 27 Jul 2018

Asad Zaman

Quaid-i-Azam University - Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)

Date Written: June 28, 2012

Abstract

Models are representations of reality. They simplify and ignore many complexities in order to focus on certain aspects. With constant and repeated use, theorists sometimes confuse the model with reality. This leads to many types of errors. In this article, we argue that the metaphor of the invisible hand has become deeply entrenched in the ways of thinking about and framing of economic problems. This has led to overuse and abuse of the metaphor. Why this happened, what harm has resulted from it, and how it can be remedied is the subject of this paper.

Keywords: the invisible hand, models

JEL Classification: A13, B41

Suggested Citation

Zaman, Asad, Death of a Metaphor: The Invisible Hand (June 28, 2012). International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, vol 4, no 1, p 15-29, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2094930 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2094930

Asad Zaman (Contact Author)

Quaid-i-Azam University - Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) ( email )

Quaid-i-Azam University Campus
P.O.Box 1091
Islamabad, Federal Capital 44000
Pakistan

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