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Book Review: Great Thinkers in Economics Series

Book Review: Great Thinkers in Economics Series sSix years after the publication of a monograph on James Tobin in the series Great Thinkers in Economics (Dimand 2014), Robert Dimand is committing to the study of another Yale economist, Irving Fisher. The book comprises ten chapters. Each chapter—except Chapter 1, which is mostly devoted to giving an overview of the book—is centered on one of Fisher’s major achievements—Fisher’s failures are mentioned, too—in relation to specific episodes of his professional and private life. Clearly, the book reflects well the depth and scope of Fisher’s thought.sChapter 2 is centered on Fisher’s contribution to general equilibrium analysis. As a Yale undergraduate and graduate student, Fisher studied mathematics with J. Willard Gibbs who, along with William Graham Sumner, co-supervised his doctoral dissertation. The chapter provides interesting hints on the influence of Gibbs, which, Dimand argues, helps explain the specificity of Fisher’s approach as compared with the works of Léon Walras and Francis Ysidro Edgeworth. Fisher was trained in Gibbsian physics and applied mathematics, and one can understand, in particular, how he was led to construct a specific mechanism likely to simulate the determination of equilibrium prices and quantities that he eventually managed—under the encouragement of Edgeworth as editor of the Economic http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Economic Thought Cambridge University Press

Book Review: Great Thinkers in Economics Series

Book Review: Great Thinkers in Economics Series

Journal of the History of Economic Thought , Volume 44 (1): 4 – Mar 1, 2022

Abstract

sSix years after the publication of a monograph on James Tobin in the series Great Thinkers in Economics (Dimand 2014), Robert Dimand is committing to the study of another Yale economist, Irving Fisher. The book comprises ten chapters. Each chapter—except Chapter 1, which is mostly devoted to giving an overview of the book—is centered on one of Fisher’s major achievements—Fisher’s failures are mentioned, too—in relation to specific episodes of his professional and private life. Clearly, the book reflects well the depth and scope of Fisher’s thought.sChapter 2 is centered on Fisher’s contribution to general equilibrium analysis. As a Yale undergraduate and graduate student, Fisher studied mathematics with J. Willard Gibbs who, along with William Graham Sumner, co-supervised his doctoral dissertation. The chapter provides interesting hints on the influence of Gibbs, which, Dimand argues, helps explain the specificity of Fisher’s approach as compared with the works of Léon Walras and Francis Ysidro Edgeworth. Fisher was trained in Gibbsian physics and applied mathematics, and one can understand, in particular, how he was led to construct a specific mechanism likely to simulate the determination of equilibrium prices and quantities that he eventually managed—under the encouragement of Edgeworth as editor of the Economic

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the History of Economics Society
ISSN
1053-8372
eISSN
1469-9656
DOI
10.1017/S1053837221000195
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

sSix years after the publication of a monograph on James Tobin in the series Great Thinkers in Economics (Dimand 2014), Robert Dimand is committing to the study of another Yale economist, Irving Fisher. The book comprises ten chapters. Each chapter—except Chapter 1, which is mostly devoted to giving an overview of the book—is centered on one of Fisher’s major achievements—Fisher’s failures are mentioned, too—in relation to specific episodes of his professional and private life. Clearly, the book reflects well the depth and scope of Fisher’s thought.sChapter 2 is centered on Fisher’s contribution to general equilibrium analysis. As a Yale undergraduate and graduate student, Fisher studied mathematics with J. Willard Gibbs who, along with William Graham Sumner, co-supervised his doctoral dissertation. The chapter provides interesting hints on the influence of Gibbs, which, Dimand argues, helps explain the specificity of Fisher’s approach as compared with the works of Léon Walras and Francis Ysidro Edgeworth. Fisher was trained in Gibbsian physics and applied mathematics, and one can understand, in particular, how he was led to construct a specific mechanism likely to simulate the determination of equilibrium prices and quantities that he eventually managed—under the encouragement of Edgeworth as editor of the Economic

Journal

Journal of the History of Economic ThoughtCambridge University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2022

References