The Phillips Machine may, in this era of super-computers modelling the economy, appear an outdated artefact. However, when it was first unveiled at the London School of Economics in 1949 it caused a sensation. The Phillips Machine is a model of the economy which uses water, pumps, valves and, in the case of the original, an electric motor scavenged from the windscreen wiper of a Lancaster bomber. For some photos of a Phillips Machine at the Science Museum, follow the links below:
The computer model that once explained the British economy Guardian (8/5/08)
The computer model that once explained the British economy Guardian (8/5/08) (Cartoon)
|Explain what is meant by the term ‘economic model’.
|What were the limitations of the Phillips machine? Assess whether the Phillips machine could be of value to modern economists.
|Discuss the value of economic models to policy makers when formulating economic policy.