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On the absence of priority fights within economics, cheap talk, and the Walras-Jevons correspondence

  • Régis Deloche

According to Merton [1957], the history of science is punctuated by disputes over priority of discovery, but there are no such priority fights in economics. Hands [2006] explains this phenomenon by assuming that economists have no sense of collective moral outrage. We provide a counterexample to this thesis by developing a gametheoretic analysis of the Walras-Jevons correspondence. We show that one-way preplay communication helped them to coordinate on a pure strategy Nash equilibrium of a ?battle of the sexes game?. Walras recognized Jevons as the inventor of the ?theory of exchange?. It was good for the promotion of mathematical economics.

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Article provided by Dalloz in its journal Revue d'économie politique.

Volume (Year): 122 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 585-598

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Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_224_0585
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