The computerization of economics: a chronology (in progress)

The Undercover Historian

On Hardware, there’s a great illustrated history of computers here (and timeline). For econometrics software, I relied on Charles Renfro’s massive history. I have tried to classify the various ways in which computerization affected the development of economics here and I list further research questions here. Comments welcome. 

Late 1940s


While the first general-purpose computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) becomes operational in 1946, economists’ fascination with machine is then still related to the utilization of physics metaphors and tools to build economic models. In 1949, for instance, engineers Walter Newlyn and Bill Phillips (of the Phillips curve) built an hydromechanical analogue computer to simulate monetary and national income flows, the MONIAC.

Capture d’écran 2016-02-05 à 23.56.19Monniac real

Phillips’s MONIAC

Less known are the analogue electrical-mechanical devices Guy Orcutt built during the 1940s to compute solutions to complex duopoly and spatial location problems, and his regression analyzer.  In these…

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Alberta Energy Production And A Renewable Future


Author:  Duane M. Tilden, P.Eng  (January 14th, 2016)

Abstract:  Energy sources and pricing are hot topics world-wide with the Climate Change agenda leading the way.  Last year at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference long-term goal of emissions neutrality was established to be by as soon as 2050.  Alberta currently produces more atmospheric carbon emissions and other pollutants than any other Province in Canada, and in order to meet clean air objectives the energy sectors which consume & mine the natural resources of the Province will have to shift to non-polluting & renewable energy sources and be more efficient in energy utilization.  To achieve these goals new infrastructure will have to be built which will have the likely consequences of raising energy pricing as well as alter consumption rates and patterns.


Transportation is a vital link in modern society, and often a personal vehicle is chosen as the…

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