Introducing the Moniac: Its Historical Process in the Istanbul University Faculty of Economics


SUSAM N., YILDIRIM N., BEKTAŞ H.

Istanbul Journal of Economics / İstanbul İktisat Dergisi, vol.71, no.1, pp.1-19, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Abstract

Monetary National Income Analog Computer (MONIAC) is a hydraulic machine that we can describe as an analog simulator modeling macroeconomic relationships. It was invented by the famous economist A. W. Phillips in 1949 and produced in limited numbers. The circulation of water in the machine shows the circulation of money in the economy. The economic behaviors of units such as households, firms, government, export, and import segments, and the economic variables by which these behaviors are affected can be observed while the water circulates the machine. The working principle of this machine reflects the assumptions of both Keynesian and Classical economics schools regarding economic functioning. The machine was brought to Istanbul University Faculty of Economics in the 1950s, by Prof. Dr. Besim Ustunel, one of the late faculty members. A sensational scientific production for the international academic community at that time, thus, was brought to Turkey in a very short period of time. The fact that the machine was introduced to Turkish higher education shortly after its invention is an important indicator of the ability of the Faculty of Economics to adapt to current scientific developments. Although MONIAC has been reoperational with a project initiated by the Faculty of Economics in 2017, it is not possible to use the machine actively in lessons today, which used to be one of its primary functions. However, based on this analog machine, the digital simulation that we carry out within the scope of the project can be used as an educational tool. MONIAC, in its restored original form, has been preserved by the Faculty of Economics as a historical value of the Faculty.