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The rejection of Andrew G. Pikler from postwar American economics

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This paper introduces the life and work of the Hungarian-born, U.S.-naturalized economist Andrew Pikler (1907–1984). First in 1930s Hungary and then as a refugee in postwar U.S., Pikler pursued a radical program of physics analogies in economics. This program was endorsed by (among others) John von Neumann who, however, unsuccessfully tried to introduce Pikler into the Cowles Commission. In the end, Pikler could not become a professional economist. His experience testifies to a major turn in mathematical economics in the 1950s, as this field avoided programmatic and explicit physics analogies and also diverged from cybernetics.
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Keywords: Andrew Pikler; B23; B31; C18; C60; Cowles Commission; John von Neumann; cybernetics; physics analogies

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 4, 2019

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