Essays in Honour of J. George Waardenburg
Edited by Servaas Storm and C. W.M. Naastepad
Chapter 2: Dynamic methods in economics
* Sukhamoy Chakravarty 24 April 1990 I thought of taking this particular subject as a possible topic for an informal talk after reading an article by the Swiss institutional economist Kurt Dopfer . He wrote an article in the Journal of Economic Issues called ‘Classical Mechanics with an Ethical Dimension: Prof. Tinbergen’s Economics’, to which Prof. Tinbergen has given two replies: one in the Journal of Economic Issues, the very ﬁrst place where this article by Dopfer appeared, and more recently another one which has been published, ‘The Functioning of Economic Research’ [Tinbergen, 1988, 1989]. I must say that after reading the article as well as these two replies, I felt that they were talking past each other completely, in the sense that one was not listening to the other. I think they both had points to make, but that their points are not meeting on the same plane. I think that this might be an occasion in the Tinbergen Institute to say something about Tinbergen’s work, as we see it, from the vantage point of nearly 60 years after it was ﬁrst initiated. It was after all Tinbergen’s ﬁrst important paper, on the shipbuilding cycle, that was published in 1931 in the Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv [which introduced for the ﬁrst time in economics a mixed diﬀerence – differential equation, which subsequently played an important role in Frisch’s well-known paper on cycles (Frisch, 1933) and, more importantly, in Kalecki’s macrodynamic model (Kalecki, 1935)]. So I think that it was not such a...
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