Cambridge Seminar in the History of Economic Analysis

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


CAMHIST seminar, Clare Hall, February 12, 2015 Modern Multi-sector Analysis; A Post-Leontief View. In this seminar we present a long-term view of a branch of economic modelling known as multi-sector or input-output analysis. This type of modelling is often associated with the name of Wassily Leontief, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics for 1973. This is both correct and incorrect. Out of a set of loosely connected ideas, Leontief constructed a real theory/ model to enable an understanding of a modern economy. However, he also took a number of decisions that basically limited the scope of what multi-sectoral economics could do. Leontief’s general idea was to describe the internal structure of an economy by means of certain ‘building blocks’, such as socio-economic categories, branches of industry, types of households or production factors. The model itself is usually described in terms of specific coefficients reflecting – approximately – fixed proportions in production or consumption activities. Given a solid insight into the structure of an economy, the effects of economic policies, technological innovations, etcetera, can be investigated. Leontief’s approach worked, and in the 1930s he was able to construct a ‘Tableau écono-mique’ for the United States. His set of concepts easily survived the more than half a century that has gone by since then. However, at present new challenges have arisen due to globalisation, income distribution, resource scarcity, disruptions due to natural disasters et cetera. We argue that in order to address these issues, we will occasionally need to go back to some of Leontief’s predecessors or contemporaries, such as Ricardo, Isnard, Popov, von Neumann, Sraffa, Seton, and others.
EvenementstitelCambridge Seminar in the History of Economic Analysis: Modern multi-sector analysis: A post-Leontief view
LocatieCambridge , United KingdomToon op kaart