An intriguing-looking book has just arrived: Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the problem of scientific credit by Till Düppe and Roy Weintraub.
Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Problem of Scientific Credit
OK, this is a specialist interest, but it’s about the history of the mathematisation of economics via general equilibrium theory from the mid-20th century. The book looks blessedly free of equations too. I did somewhere write a review of Roy Weintraub’s 2002 book, How Economics Became a Mathematical Science and got a rather severe note from him pointing out that I’d made a mistake, so I’m slightly trepidatious about tackling this new one. But the mathematical turn in economics is important to understand. I’m in favour of using mathematical models in economics – indeed, some of the interesting new approaches such as the application if complexity science in macroeconomics would involve more rather than less of it – but not in favour of only using maths and ignoring institutional and historical detail.