2010 marks the hundredth anniversary of the death of Léon Walras, the brilliant originator and first formaliser of general equilibrium theory – one of the pillars of modern economic theory. In advancing much derided practical solutions Walras also displayed more concern for the problems of living in a second best world than is common in modern pure theories of the invisible hand, efficient market hypothesis, DSGE macroeconomics or the thinking of some contemporary free market admirers all based on general equilibrium theory.
This book brings contributions from the likes of Kenneth Arrow, Alan Kirman, Richard Posner, Amartya Sen and Robert Solow to share their thoughts and reflections on the theoretical heritage of Léon Walras. Some authors reminisce on the part they played in the development of modern general economics theory; others reflect on the crucial part played by general equilibrium in the development of macroeconomics, microeconomics, growth theory, welfare economics and the theory of justice; others still complain about the wrong path economic theory took under the influence of post 1945 developments in general equilibrium theory.
Table of Contents
Preface Pascal Bridel 1. Walras: Pioneer of Illuminating Complexity William J. Baumol 2. Léon Walras and Monetary Economics 3. The Normative Origins of General Equilibrium Theory: Or Walras's Attempts at Reconciling Economic Efficiency and Social Justice Pascal Bridel 4. Walras, Keynes, and the 'Great Recession' Richard A. Posner 5. The Stability of General Equilibrium - What Do We Know and Why Is It Important? Franklin M. Fisher 6. The Computation of Equilibria for the Walrasian Model: A Personal Account Herbert E. Scarf 7. Walras, Non-Clearing Markets and Imperfect Competition Jean-Pascal Bénassy 8. General Equilibrium Theory and Public Finance Anthony B. Atkinson 9. Macroeconomics and the Uses of General Equilibrium Robert M. Solow 10. Credit Instruments and Information to General Equilibrium Kenneth J. Arrow 11. Walras's Unfortunate Legacy Alan Kirman 12. On Walras's Modernity Roger Guesnerie
Pascal Bridel is Professor at the Department of Economics and Political Economy at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.