economics

Robert Malthus and the Principle of Population

Robert Malthus and the Principle of Population

On February 13, 1766, English cleric and scholar Rev. Thomas Robert Malthus was born. His An Essay on the Principle of Population observed that sooner or later population will be checked by famine and disease, leading to what is known as a Malthusian catastrophe. He thought that the dangers of population growth precluded progress towards a utopian society. Malthus placed the longer-term stability of the economy above short-term expediency. His views became…
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How Johann Beckmann invented the Science of Technology

How Johann Beckmann invented the Science of Technology

On June 4, 1739, German chemist and economist Johann Beckmann was born. He established the science of agriculture and coined the word technology, to mean the science of trades. He was the first man to teach technology and write about it as an academic subject. Johann Beckmann was born at Hoya in Hannover. He attended the University of Göttingen where he studied theology, mathematics, physics, natural history, and public finance and administration.…
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Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Railroad and Steamship Empire

Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Railroad and Steamship Empire

On May 27, 1794, American business magnate and philanthropis Cornelius Vanderbilt was born. Vanderbilt’s wealth was build on railroads and shipping. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history. Cornelius Vanderbilt was born in New York and started working on his father’s ferry in New York Harbor as a boy. It is reported that he already left school at 11 and started his own…
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Oskar Morgenstern and the Game Theory

Oskar Morgenstern and the Game Theory

On January 24, 1902, German-American economist and mathematician Carl Friedrich Alfred Oskar Morgenstern was born. Morgenstern popularized “game theory” which mathematically analyzes behaviour of man or animals in terms of strategies to maximize gains and minimize losses. He coauthored Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944), with John von Neumann, which extended Neumann‘s 1928 theory of games of strategy to competitive business situations. “As far as the use of mathematics in economics…
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John von Neumann – Game Theory and the Digital Computer

John von Neumann – Game Theory and the Digital Computer

On December 28, 1903, Hungarian and American pure and applied mathematician, physicist, inventor and polymath John von Neumann was born. He made major contributions to a number of fields including mathematics, physics, economics, computing, and statistics. He was a key figure in the development of game theory, the concepts of cellular automata, and the digital computer. He is definitely one of the candidates to write several biographical articles of, each with a…
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Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville’s – The Fable of Bees On November 15, 1670, Dutch philosopher, political economist and satirist Bernard Mandeville was born. He became famous for The Fable of the Bees, a satire that suggests many key principles of economic thought, including division of labor and the “invisible hand“, seventy years before these concepts were more thoroughly elucidated by Adam Smith. Not very much is known about the life of Bernard Mandeville. He probably grew…
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Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

Antoine Cournot and the Mathematical Theory of Economics

On August 28, 1801, French philosopher and mathematician Antoine-Augustin Cournot was born. He is considered being the first economist who applied mathematics to the treatment of economic questions. In 1838, he published Recherches sur les principes mathématiques de la théorie des richesses (Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth) which was a treatment of mathematical economics. “So far we have studies how, for each commodity by itself, the law…
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The German Reinheitsgebot and the Secrets of Brewing Beer

The German Reinheitsgebot and the Secrets of Brewing Beer

On April 23, 1516, in the city of Ingolstadt in the duchy of Bavaria, Duke Wilhelm IV. and Duke Ludwig X of Bavaria publish a new law that contains regulations about the price and the ingredients of beer. These Regulations later are called the ‘Reinheitsgebot‘ ( German Beer Purity Law), which states that the only ingredients that could be used in the production of beer are water, barley and hops. Brewing regulations…
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The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

The Rise and Fall of the British East India Company

On December 31, 1600, the British East India Company (EIC) received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies pursuing trade with the East Indies. The Foundation Already 12 years before, the Spanish Armada was defeated and merchants turned to the Queen, asking for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean, which was granted. Some smaller companies formed, but several ships got lost…
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Andrew Carnegie – Steel Tycoon and Philanthropist

Andrew Carnegie – Steel Tycoon and Philanthropist

On November 25, 1835, Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was born. He led the enormous expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and was also one of the highest profile philanthropists of his era. “Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.” — Andrew Carnegie, he Best Fields for Philanthropy, 1889 Early Life and Emigration…
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