On the use of math in economics (version 2.0)…

In response to my previous posting entitled “On the use of math in economics…”, my colleague Allen Seward pointed out the following quote to me (Attributed to Alfred Marshall; see Todd G. Buchholz, 1989, New Ideas from Dead Economists, New York: Penguin Group, p. 151.):

In a letter to his protégée, A.C. Pigou, he [Marshall] laid out the following system: “(1) Use mathematics as shorthand language, rather than as an engine of inquiry. (2) Keep to them till you have done. (3) Translate into English. (4) Then illustrate by examples that are important in real life (5) Burn the mathematics. (6) If you can’t succeed in 4, burn 3. This I do often.”

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