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The Intrinsic Limits of Modern Economic Theory: The Emperor Has No Clothes


  • Kirman, Alan


Assumptions of the uniqueness and stability of general equilibrium in a Walrasian framework have no theoretical justification. This paper argues that the key reason for this is that the Walrasian model treats people as acting independently of one another, especially in their demand behavior. This independence plays an essential role in constructing economies with arbitrary excess demand functions. Thus, making individual behavior dependent or similar may open the way to obtaining meaningful restrictions on aggregate excess demand functions. Copyright 1989 by Royal Economic Society.

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  • Kirman, Alan, 1989. "The Intrinsic Limits of Modern Economic Theory: The Emperor Has No Clothes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 126-139, Supplemen.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:99:y:1989:i:395:p:126-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1983. "National Savings, Economic Welfare, and the Structure of Taxation," NBER Chapters,in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 459-498 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "A Dynamic Theory of Factor Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 42-48, May.
    3. Brock, William A & Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1981. "The Analysis of Macroeconomic Policies in Perfect Foresight Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(1), pages 179-209, February.
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