Table of Contents

Famous Figures and Diagrams in Economics

Famous Figures and Diagrams in Economics

Edited by Mark Blaug and Peter Lloyd

This is a unique account of the role played by 58 figures and diagrams commonly used in economic theory. These cover a large part of mainstream economic analysis, both microeconomics and macroeconomics and also general equilibrium theory.

Introduction

Mark Blauc and Peter Lloyd

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, history of economic thought

Extract

Mark Blaug and Peter Lloyd 1. THE BOOK PLAN Economic theory is rich in figures and diagrams. This book was conceived in the belief that we do not know as much as we should about the role of these in the development of economic theory. The book has two aims. One is to provide an account of the role of each of the chosen figures and diagrams in economic analysis. Figures are part of the basic toolbox of the modern economist. We have selected figures that have been prominent in the history of economic analysis and that are, with a few exceptions, still found in contemporary textbooks and research. Together the topics portrayed cover a large part of mainstream economic theory and analysis. The second aim is to provide an account of their histories. Thus, it is partly an exercise in the history of economic thought. Klein (1995) has commented on the general use of geometry in economic theory. There are existing histories of some of the diagrams; for example, Humphrey (1992, 1993) has written essays on the history of the box diagram, the ‘trade theorist’s sacred diagram’ (the subject of Chapter 42) and the Marshallian cross diagram (see Chapter 1). Others have commented upon the use of geometry by some economists – chiefly Alfred Marshall (see especially his biographers, Keynes, 1972 and Groenewegen, 1995) but also Lerner (Giraud, 2008) and Samuelson (Giraud, forthcoming) – or in some particular period (for example, Cook, 2005) or area of economics (for example, de Marchi,...