Secrets hidden by two-dimensionality: The economy as a hydraulic machine

Abstract

A long-standing tradition presents economic activity in terms of the flow of fluids. This metaphor lies behind a small but influential practice of hydraulic modelling in economics. Yet turning the metaphor into a three-dimensional hydraulic model of the economic system entails making numerous and detailed commitments about the analogy between hydraulics and the economy. The most famous 3-D model in economics is probably the Phillips machine, the central object of this paper.

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Author Profiles

Marcel Boumans
Utrecht University
Mary Morgan
London School of Economics

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