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The Random Financial Fluctuation, the different understandings of new a research object (1930-1950)

Thomas Delcey, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne

The historical construction of modern financial economics has been widely analyzed autonomously from the rest of the economic thought. Hence, an unanswered question is how financial markets become a specific topic of research distinct from the rest of economics research and requiring its own subfield in the second half of the 20th century. The present article aims to take a first step to answer this issue. We analyzed the construction of one of the main and the earlier object of research in financial economics: the Random Character of Financial Fluctuation. We show that the RCFF has been understood in two different ways: (a) a former approach that focuses on constant patterns and denies the random fluctuation as an object itself, (b) a new approach that focuses on the explanation of the random fluctuation itself. We conclude that the second approach will prevail after the 1960s in financial economics.


Keywords: Efficient Market Hypothesis, Random Fluctuation

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