Walras's Market Models describes and evaluates Léon Walras's models of competitive markets. Through identification of his career phases and the associated general equilibrium models, which are shown to be very different in character, this book differs from previous examinations of his work. During his mature phase of theoretical activity, Walras was concerned with a competitive economy which passes through a phase of disequilibrium in the production and sales of commodities. While in his last phase of theoretical activity, he developed a model in which there is no production, sales, hiring, consuming or saving until an assumed set of equilibrium prices obtains of the model. The two phases of Walras's theoretical work have not previously been identified, and the models have not been subjected to an accurate analysis and evaluation.
• Major reinterpretation of Walras for economic theory; Walras was one of the great 19th-century economists • Systematic exploration of the development of Walras's thought by the editor of two previous collections for the Press • Wide appeal, will find readership among economic theorists as well as historians of economic thought
Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. The Models of the Mature Phase; Section 1. Background and Preliminaries: 1. Walras's conception of a competitive market economy; 2. The mature models are not a normative scheme; 3. The mature models of the barter of stocks and commodities; 4. Institutions and participants in the model of monetary oral pledges markets; 5. Disequilibrium and equilibrium in the model of monetary oral pledges markets; 6. The structure of the mature nondurable consumer commodities model; 7. The equilibrating processes in the mature nondurable consumer commodities model; Section 2. The Mature Comprehensive Model: 8. The structure of the mature comprehensive model; 9. The equilibrating processes in the mature comprehensive model; 10. Walras and his critics on the maximum utility of new capital goods; 11. The mature models of the money market; 12. Iteration in the mature model of tatonnement; 13. The mature model of the behavior of the entrepreneur; 14. Walras versus Edgeworth on tatonnement processes; Part II. The Models of the Phase of Decline; Section 1. The Written Pledges Models: 15. The structure of the barter model of written pledges markets; 16. Disequilibrium features of the barter model of written pledges markets; 17. The written pledges markets in the last comprehensive model; Section 2. Other Models: 18. The markets for circulating capital and money in the last comprehensive model; 19. Conclusion; References; Collation of editions of the Eléments; Index.
'If prizes are given in the history of economic thought … one ought to go to Donald Walker … Walker's arguments are very convincing … Those who are interested in knowing about the detailed analysis of Walras' own models should read and appreciate Walker's contribution.' The Economic Journal