General Equilibrium Theory, which became the dominating paradigm after the Second World War, is founded on the postulated existence, uniqueness, and stability of equilibrium in economic processes. Since then, the concept has come under sustained attack from all points of the heterodox compass, from Austrian economists to Marxists.
Partly in response to these pressures, mainstream economics has changed and moved away from the rigid framework of GET. Nonetheless, economists are continually arguing in terms of equilibrium and the existence of a variety of equilibrium concepts continues to stir controversy.
The contributions in this book, which include articles from Tony Lawson, Ivor Grattan-Guinness and Roger Backhouse, highlight current notions of equilibrium in economics and provide a guide to understanding the links between economic theory and economic reality.
Table of Contents
Equilibrium in Contemporary Economic Theory Roger E. Backhouse Equilibrium in Economics: Some Concepts and Controversies Victoria Chick The Hypostatisation of the Concept of Equilibrium in Neoclassical Economics Andy Denis Heavens Beneath What Equilibrium Means in Economics Alan Freeman Equilibrium in Mechanics and Then in Economics: Was it a Good Analogy? Ivor Grattan-Guinness The (Confused) State of Equilibrium Analysis in Modern Economics: An Explanation Tony Lawson Equilibrium in Econometrics Jim Thomas Economic Equilibrium in the French Enlightenment: The Case of A.N. Isnard Richard van den Berg
Valeria Mosini is at the London School of Economics and at the University ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome.