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
Date Written: June 28, 2012
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: Suggested Citation