Hicks on Walrasian equilibrium in the 1930s and beyond
After many explorations in different directions during the early 1930s, in 1934 Hicks ends up by advocating an interpretation of Walrasian equilibrium and capital theory along stationary lines, but the suggested interpretation is at variance with the views endorsed by the last Walras and Pareto at the turn of the century. In the second half of the 1930s, Hicks’s ideas on equilibrium and capital progressively change. With the publication of Value and Capital in 1939, this process culminates in the rediscovery of an equilibrium concept, Hicks’s temporary equilibrium, that is similar to the one adopted by Walras and Pareto about forty years before. Yet such direct link with the Walrasian tradition is not overtly recognised: on the contrary, the essentially Walrasian character of Hicks’s temporary equilibrium approach is carefully disguised under Marshallian garments. The paper aims at clarifying the reasons behind the winding path followed by Hicks over the 1930s.
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