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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Régis Deloche, 2012. "On the absence of priority fights within economics, cheap talk, and the Walras-Jevons correspondence," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 122(4), pages 585-598.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_224_0585

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    Aumann's conjecture; Jevons; Walras; cheap talk;


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