The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Ian Hacking
Reference work entry


Probability denotes a family of ideas that originally centred on the notion of credibility, or reasonable belief falling short of certainty. There have arisen two quite distinct uses of this group of ideas, namely in the modelling of physical or social processes, and in drawing inferences from, or making decisions on the basis of, inconclusive data.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bayes, T. 1763. An essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances. In Studies in the history of statistics and probability, ed. E.S. Pearson and M.G. Kendall. London: Griffin, 1970.Google Scholar
  2. Bernoulli, J. 1713. Ars conjectandi. Basle.Google Scholar
  3. Butler, J. 1736. The analogy of religion. London.Google Scholar
  4. Carnap, R. 1950. Logical foundations of probability. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Daston, R., M. Heidlberger, and L. Krüger (eds.). 1987. The probabilistic revolution, 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Bradford Books.Google Scholar
  6. de Finetti, B. 1937. Foresight: Its logical laws, its subjective sources. Trans. from the French in Studies in subjective probability, ed. H.E. Kyburg Jr., and H.E. Smokler. New York: Wiley. 1964.Google Scholar
  7. Diaconis, P., and D. Freedman. 1980a. De Finetti’s generalizations of exchangeability. In Studies in induction logic and probability, vol. II, ed. R.C. Jeffrey. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Diaconis, P., and D. Freedman. 1980b. De Finetti’s theorem for Markov chains. Annals of Probability 8(1): 115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diaconis, P., and S. Zabell. 1982. Updating subjective probability. Journal of the American Statistical Association 77: 822–830.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Edgeworth, F.Y. 1911. Probability. In The Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. XXII, 11th ed. New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica.Google Scholar
  11. Fine, T. 1973. Theories of probability. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, R.A. 1950. Contributions to mathematical statistics. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Fisher, R.A. 1956. Statistical methods and scientific inference. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd.Google Scholar
  14. Huygens, Chr. 1657. Ratiociniis in aleae ludo (Reasoning in a game of chance). In Oeuvres complètes, ed. C. Huygens. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1888–1950, includes the original Latin, Huygens’ original Dutch, and French translation in Vol. 14.Google Scholar
  15. Jeffreys, H. 1939. Theory of probability, 3rd ed, 1961. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  16. Keynes, J.M. 1921. A treatise on probability. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  17. Kolmogorov, A.N. 1933. Foundations of the theory of probability. Trans. from the German, New York: Chelsea, 1950.Google Scholar
  18. de Laplace, P.S. 1795. A philosophical essay on probabilities. Trans. from the French. New York: Dover. 1951.Google Scholar
  19. Maistrov, L.E. 1967. Probability theory: A historical sketch. Trans. from the Russian, New York: Academic Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  20. Neyman, J., and E.S. Pearson. 1967. Joint statistical papers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Peirce, C.S. 1878, 1910. Collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, ed. C. Hartshorne., and P. Weiss. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1965Google Scholar
  22. Poisson, S.-D. 1837. Recherches sur la probabilité des jugements en matière criminelle et en matière civile. Paris.Google Scholar
  23. Popper, K.R. 1959. The propensity interpretation of probability. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10: 25–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ramsey, F.P. 1926. Truth and probability. In Foundations: Essays by F.P. Ramsey, ed. D.H. Mellor. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978.Google Scholar
  25. Reichenbach, H. 1949. The theory of probability. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  26. Savage, L.J. 1954. The foundations of statistics. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  27. Stigler, S. 1986. The history of statistics: The measurement of uncertainty before 1900. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Suppes, P. 1973. New foundations of objective probability: Axioms for propensities. In Logic, methodology and philosophy of science, vol. IV, ed. P. Suppes et al. Amsterdam: North-Holland.Google Scholar
  29. Von Mises, R. 1928. Probability, statistics and truth. Trans. from the German, London: Allen & Unwin, 1957.Google Scholar
  30. Von Neumann, J., and O. Morgenstern. 1944. Theory of games and economic behavior, 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Hacking
    • 1
  1. 1.