Bill Phillips and the MONIAC

Release date
August 2007
Main file


Alban William Housego Phillips (1914-1975) was one of New Zealand's most accomplished economists of the twentieth century. He developed a machine for demonstrating and calculating the workings of the macro-economy – the broad relationships between elements of the economy. Dubbed MONIAC, this has some claim to be the world's first macro-economic computer.

It could carry out calculations unable to be performed by any other computer at the time, and while other machines of its era used cogs, gears and sometimes Meccano parts, the MONIAC used water to model flows of money in a macro-economy.