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History, Crucial Choices and Equilibrium


  • Rogerio P. Andrade

    (University of Campinas (Unicamp))


This paper discusses alternative conceptions of time and scrutinises the ideas of crucial choice, determinism and equilibrium. The relevant notion is that of historical time, where time is seen as irreversible, flowing from the irrevocable past to an unknown future, like an arrow. This notion is consistent with the concept of fundamental uncertainty and is at odds with deterministic explanations of reality. The economy is an open, evolving process in which free will, Shacklean genuine choices, Schumpeterian innovative behaviours, and unpredictable, unintended consequences of human actions have an important role to play. Human imagination and crucial decisions preclude the full operation of rigid laws of necessity. In the light of these ideas, the paper also approaches a few suggestions of reconceptualisations of the notion of equilibrium which purport to render the concept more palatable

Suggested Citation

  • Rogerio P. Andrade, 2009. "History, Crucial Choices and Equilibrium," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 10(3), pages 665-682.
  • Handle: RePEc:anp:econom:v:10:y:2009:i:3:665_682

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. W. Michael Hanemann, 1984. "Welfare Evaluations in Contingent Valuation Experiments with Discrete Responses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 66(3), pages 332-341.
    3. Ludwig, Jens & Cook, Philip J, 2001. "The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 207-226, May.
    4. Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Crime and the Job Market," NBER Working Papers 4910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
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    More about this item


    Historical Time; Crucial Choices; Shackle; Determinism; Equilibrium.;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General


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