IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Augustin cournot and neoclassical economics

Listed author(s):
  • Clarence Morrison

This paper compares Cournot's exposition of elasticity of demand and the theory of the firm with modern exposition. In the case of the theory of the firm, this comparison is accomplished by translating the modern textbook exposition into Cournot's mathematics. It is demonstrated that Cournot's exposition translates into current usage in all cases but that the degree of convolution in the translation process varies from case to case. For elasticity, only trivial algebraic manipulation is involved. For monopoly, the inverse derivative rule translates Cournot's exposition into current usage. The case of perfect competition is much more complicated. Although Cournot gets the same result as current theory, his mathematics doesn't translate directly into current usage. But a comparison in the text that doesn't appear in his mathematics suggests that he considered the modern derivation but chose to use another derivation. One reason for doing this is rather obvious. It fits better into Cournot's unified approach to the theory of the firm. It might also be judged more elegant and mathematically precise. With regard to oligopoly, Cournot provided, in a different contest, the analytical structure that is now used in IO to analyze differentiated oligopoly. It is retierated that Cournot had a general method for finding equilibria for non-cooperative games and was aware of the fact that his method was more general than a single application. The relation between Cournot equilibria and Nash equilibria is discussed. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2003

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer & International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 123-132

in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:31:y:2003:i:2:p:123-132
DOI: 10.1007/BF02319865
Contact details of provider: Web page:


Suite 650, International Tower, 229 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30303

Phone: (404) 965-1555
Fax: (404) 965-1556
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. R. Myerson., 2010. "Nash Equilibrium and the History of Economic Theory," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 6.
  2. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226199993 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Scott Gordon, 1982. "Why Did Marshall Transpose the Axes?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 31-45, Jan-Mar.
  4. S. Illeris & G. Akehurst, 2002. "Introduction," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 1-3, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:31:y:2003:i:2:p:123-132. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.