Dorfman’s economics take on Optimal Control

Posted: October 29, 2015 in Grad Macro I Fall 2015-2016, Research papers
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Robert Dorfman, Economist, 1916-2002

Robert Dorfman, Economist, 1916-2002

Almost 50 years after its publication, late Robert Dorfman’s paper on explaining to then-innocent economists the principles of Optimal Control theory,

Dorfman, R. (1969). An economic interpretation of optimal control theory. The American Economic Review, 59(5): pp. 817-831

remains a classic example of masterly knowledge (and perhaps of scientific imperialism also): reading it from Dorfman, one may get the impression that Optimal Control is just the mathematical formalization of basic economics principles.

And how better an opening sentence can be than (quote), “Capital Theory is the economics of time” ?

For any aspiring student of Economics, it is still required reading.


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