The Pioneers’ Arguments for Formulating Economic Problems Mathematically
The nineteenth century pioneers in formulating economic problems mathematically often felt that they needed to explain their reasons for using mathematics. We will look at the arguments of Cournot, Thünen, Gossen, Jevons, Walras, Edgeworth, Marshall, Fisher, Wicksell, and Pareto. Three main arguments can be found: First, mathematics provides greater clarity of presentation, secondly, economics is fundamentally similar to the mathematical natural sciences, especially physics, and third, mathematics can help economists themselves to control the reasoning in their analysis.
JEL: B41, C00