Retrospectives: The Origins of Neoclassical Microeconomics by Robert B. Ekelund Jr and Robert F. Hébert. Published in volume 16, issue 3, pages of. Illuminating the history of the Church and the evolution of its central doctrines from the Reformation to modern times, Ekelund, Hébert, and Tollison make an. An Economic Analysis of the Protestant. Reformation. Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. Auburn University and Trinity University. Robert F Hebert. University of Louisiana at.

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Secret Origins of Modern Microeconomics: Dupuit and the Engineers. University of Chicago Press, Secrets should be divulged and not belong to a few only.

So right from the beginning we know where we are and this book is seemingly set up to prove this claim.

That is a pity, because it puts this book into a historiographically questionable framework: Whig history with ekelujd phrasing that belongs to it.

The next phrase is an even better example of this framework: This is a pity, because this historiographical strait jacket hinders us from seeing the real value of this work: Robert Ekelund and Robert Hebert convincingly argue that the intellectual tradition of microeconomic inquiry can be traced back to hebfrt works of the members of the Corps des Ingenieurs des Ponts et Chausses French corps of state civil engineersmost notably Jules Dupuit This is a rich book that discloses materials that before were heebrt to historians of economics.

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They were inaccessible for two reasons: First, most of the French works discussed by Ekelund and Hebert have not been translated, which is certainly a handicap in a discipline whose language is predominantly English. The second reason is that materials mainly belong to the engineering literature, which is not the usual place to look for the origins of economics.

Robert Ekelund

This latter attitude has changed among current historians of economics, thanks to contributions like those of Ekelund and Hebert. The analysis of the French ekdlund literature chapters is preceded by a very informative chapter on French educational institutions, before and after the French Revolution, which explains partly why in France the contributions of the engineers were neglected by economists.

The history of the French econo-engineering hebett with an overview of benefit-cost studies from the seventeenth century onwards.

Of importance was the discussion of whether and how marginal utility should be incorporated in the demand analysis. Altogether these chapters give a clear exposition of the economic problems that French ponts engineers faced in era of major changes in the French infrastructure. If you want to, you can already recognize elements of the later microeconomics. But why should these works of the French engineers only have value in relation to modern microeconomics? On the contrary, this book shows how engineers dealing with their daily and earthly problems came to ingenious solutions that are very instructive to modern economists.

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For too long they were neglected in the history of economics. Lowder Eminent Scholar at Auburn University. His current work involves models and measurement in economics.

Secret Origins of Modern Microeconomics: Dupuit and the Engineers

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Newsletters To join the newsletters or submit a posting go to click here. Boumans, Marcel Published by EH. Appropriated Origins of Microeconomics Secrets should be divulged and not belong to a few only.

Development of the Economic History Discipline: Historiography; Sources and Methods Geographic Area s: Europe Time Period s: Historiography; Sources and Methods.