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An engineer’s view of economics: Wilhelm Launhardt’s contributions

An engineer’s view of economics: Wilhelm Launhardt’s contributions Wilhelm Launhardt (1832-1918) is a founder of mathematical economics. His main work, Mathematical Foundations of Economics, published in 1885, was translated into English in 1993. As an engineer, he contributed to the field of not only engineering, but also of economics and, in particular, to those parts in economics which can be treated fruitfully with mathematics. Launhardt developed his work independently from the French engineers, but based it squarely on the work of the agricultural engineer von Thünen. He made references to the economists Sax, Walras and Jevons. His main economic contribution lies in founding location theory but, beyond that, he contributed to the mathematical treatment of economics, labor economics, monetary economics and technology economics with a special emphasis on railway issues from a locational point of view. Hence, it is the purpose of this paper to show how Launhardt used mathematics in his engineering-based approach to the economics of location and technology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Economic Studies Emerald Publishing

An engineer’s view of economics: Wilhelm Launhardt’s contributions

Journal of Economic Studies , Volume 27 (4/5): 53 – Aug 1, 2000

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0144-3585
DOI
10.1108/01443580010342384
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Wilhelm Launhardt (1832-1918) is a founder of mathematical economics. His main work, Mathematical Foundations of Economics, published in 1885, was translated into English in 1993. As an engineer, he contributed to the field of not only engineering, but also of economics and, in particular, to those parts in economics which can be treated fruitfully with mathematics. Launhardt developed his work independently from the French engineers, but based it squarely on the work of the agricultural engineer von Thünen. He made references to the economists Sax, Walras and Jevons. His main economic contribution lies in founding location theory but, beyond that, he contributed to the mathematical treatment of economics, labor economics, monetary economics and technology economics with a special emphasis on railway issues from a locational point of view. Hence, it is the purpose of this paper to show how Launhardt used mathematics in his engineering-based approach to the economics of location and technology.

Journal

Journal of Economic StudiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 1, 2000

Keywords: Economics; Engineering

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