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Ten great economists

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(Oxford University Press, 1965)

This is the title of a book I am currently reading. It is a compilation of 13 essays (3 in the appendix, hence the 10 in the title) on 13 historic economists by historic economist J. A. Schumpeter.

This has been a real treat of a read (in spite of the "Austrian" tone) and has made me aware of some research topics that should be of interest to the pub wan movement.

One is Léon Walras' extension of demand curves to three or more goods. (page 77) High dimensionality is central to pubwan methods proposed so far.

Another "economist" of interest is Vilfredo Pareto (page 129, emphasis mine):

It might be urged of course that in spite of several attempts nobody has as yet succeeded in carrying out such observations and that it is difficult to indulge in the hope that we might construct them from objective data in their whole extent so as to derive a complete empirical indifference map.

The Pareto piece was published in 1949, so perhaps by now someone has succeeded at this task. If not, perhaps the pubwan movement can provide such a map. This would be more or less identical to the project objective of compiling a collective norm set, as described in the ortho norm page.

The Frank William Taussig piece mentions Taussig's "penumbra," or the observation that observations are inexact. Again, limitations in mathematical methods as of publication of the essay (1941) are mentioned. In the maxhi schema, norm spec's can be stated around existing constraints, such as budgetable amount. This is dealt illustrated in the "over budget" and "under budget" norms in Sheet 3 (grocery) of the sample normset page.

These parameters are calculated with the min and max functions. <example>max(price-budget,0)</example> gives a parameter we can call "amount (if any) over budget." Considering price as a variable (actually a parameter over a range of options) and budget as a constant, amount over budget is a piecewise linear function of price. <example>abs(min(budget-price,0))</example> gives "amount under budget." In general, a pubwan participant would presumably use normspecs that minimize amount over budget while maximizing amount under budget, with subjectively varying priorities, depending on opportunity costs, willingness to take on debts, etc. Note that (wlog) bundles (package deals) over budget are judged equal as measured by the amount-under-budget parameter, and all under budget bundles are superior to all over budget ones in both parameters.

The inevitability of fuzzy math also motivates the nonzero tolerance policy.

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