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Léon Walras: Elements of Theoretical Economics
Or, The Theory of Social Wealth


  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107651456

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About the Authors
  • In his fourth edition of Éléménts d'économie politique pure (1900), León Walras introduced the device of written pledges to eliminate path dependency: sellers of products and services write out commitments to supply certain quantities at suggested prices with no commodities actually produced and supplied until a set of prices is found at which supply and demand are equal simultaneously in every market. This brought about very serious alterations to the character of the book. Unfortunately, these changes resulted in an incomplete, internally contradictory, and occasionally incoherent text. This translation, therefore, by two leading scholars of León Walras' work, Donald A. Walker and Jan van Daal, revisits the third edition of this seminal work, including Walras' brilliant explanation of his comprehensive model, with all its richness derived from reality. Growing research into Walras' work indicates that it was this third edition that contained his best theoretical research and a translation of this edition of the book is now a necessity.

    • The only translation into English of the third edition of Léon Walras' Éléments d'économie politique pure
    • Translated and edited by two leading Walras scholars
    • Includes introductory, annotated and biographical material
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Walras's theory of general economic equilibrium has inspired many great economists, from Pareto, Wicksell, Fisher, and Schumpeter to Hicks, Samuelson, Arrow, Hahn, and Debreu. It is therefore highly welcome that the third and finest edition of Walras's opus magnum, Éléménts, for the first time is made available in an excellent English edition thanks to Donald A. Walker and Jan van Daal, two leading Walrasian scholars.' Harald Hagemann, Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107651456
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 30 mm
    • weight: 1.7kg
    • contains: 47 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Translators' introduction
    Part I. Objects and Divisions of Economics:
    1. Adam Smith's and J.-B. Say's definitions
    2. Distinction between science, the arts, and ethics
    3. Social wealth
    4. The fact of industry and applied economics
    Part II. Theory of Exchange:
    5. The market and competition
    6. Curves of effective demand and effective supply
    7. Discussion of the solution of the problem of the exchange of two commodities for each other
    8. Utility or want curves
    9. Discussion of demand curves
    10. Rareté, or the cause of value in exchange
    11. The problem of the exchange of several commodities for one another
    12 General formula of the mathematical solution of the problem of the exchange of several commodities for one another
    13. Law of the variation of the prices of the commodities
    14. Theorem of equivalent redistributions
    15. Purchase curves and sales curves
    16. Exposition and refutation of Adam Smith's and J.-B. Say's doctrines of the origin of value in exchange
    Part III. Theory of Production:
    17. Capital and income
    18. Elements and mechanism of production
    19. The entrepreneur
    20. Equations of production
    21. Solution of the equations of production
    22. The principle of free competition
    Part IV. Theory of Capital Formation and Credit:
    23. Gross and net income
    24. Equations of capital formation and credit
    25. Solution of the equations of capital formation and credit
    26. Theorem of the maximum utility of new capital goods
    27. Laws of the determination and variation of the prices of capital goods
    28. Increase of the quantity of products
    29. Critique of the physiocratic doctrine
    30. Exposition and refutation of the English theory of the price of products
    31. Exposition and refutation of the English theory of rent
    32. Exposition and refutation of the English theories of wages and interest
    Part V. Theory of Money:
    33. The problem of the value of money
    34. Mathematical theory of bimetallism
    35. Relative stability of the value of the bimetallic standard
    36. Fiduciary money and offsetting claims
    Part VI. Price Fixing, Monopoly, and Taxation:
    37. Price fixing and monopoly
    38. Taxation.

  • Author

    Léon Walras

    Editors and translators

    Donald A. Walker, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    Donald A. Walker received a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, Massachusetts. He specializes in microeconomic theory and the history of neoclassical economic thought. Dr Walker was the president of the History of Economics Society (1987–8), named Distinguished Fellow of that Society (2006), editor of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought (1990–8), and founder and first president of the International Walras Association (1997–2000). Among numerous other publications, he is the author of two books and many articles on the writings of Léon Walras, including Walrasian Economics (Cambridge, 2006).

    Jan van Daal, Triangle, University of Lyons-2
    Jan van Daal received a Ph.D. from Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. He has researched and taught in the areas of mathematical economics and published on demand systems, aggregation problems, and the theory and history of general economic equilibrium. Dr van Daal specializes in research on the life and works of Léon Walras and has published, among other writings, The Equilibrium Economics of Léon Walras (with Albert Jolink, 1993), the translation of Walras' Études d'économie appliquée (2005), and the translation of Walras' Études d'économie sociale (with Donald A. Walker, 2010).

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