# Measurement, Quantification, and Economic Analysis: Numeracy in Economics

By Ingrid H. Rima | Go to book overview

Chapter 6

The method of diagrams and the black arts of Inductive economics

Judy L. Klein

There are few tools so important to economic pedagogy and analysis as graphic representation. Even a cursory comparison of economics with other social and natural sciences reveals the unusual emphasis economists place on the use of diagrams. Yet, little has been written on economists as graphic toolmakers. This exploration of early developments in economists’ use of graphs addresses the temporal conjunctures of graphs and economic concepts, the developmental patterns of common forms of economic diagrams, comparisons with diagrams used in other modes of thought, and the significant contributions of economists to the technique of visual abstraction.

The process by which I examine these tools involves weaving the source of the raw material of graphs with the relevant time frame (see Table 6.1). Henry Cunynghame in A Geometrical Political Economy, published in 1904, classified diagrams as law-curves or fact-curves. The raw materials for law-curves are hypotheses and mental abstractions; the raw materials for fact-curves are concrete data. I have woven the law-curve/fact-curve distinction with a time-frame distinction, made by Joan Robinson (1980), between curves drawn in logical time and those in historical time. Lines imaged in logical time connect and compare static positions. The sense of logical time is created by the eye moving left to right from lower to higher values of the x variable. One can also go in the reverse direction in logical time, whereas the curves

Table 6.1 Class sification of graphs

 Law-curves Fact-curves Logical time Mental abstractions drawn to compare values of y as value of x is low or high Actual data plotted to compare values of y as value of x is low or high Historical time Mental abstractions drawn to follow path or y changing over time Actual data plotted to follow path of y changing over time

-98-

If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

#### Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.
Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.
Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
• Saved book/article
• Highlights
• Quotes/citations
• Notes
• Bookmarks
Notes

#### Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

#### Cited page

Measurement, Quantification, and Economic Analysis: Numeracy in Economics

Settings

#### Settings

Typeface
Text size Reset View mode
Search within

Look up

#### Look up a word

• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 462

### How to highlight and cite specific passages

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

## Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

## Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.