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History versus equilibrium? on the possibility and realist basis of a general critique of traditional equilibrium analysis

Listed author(s):
  • Dany Lang
  • Mark Setterfield

This paper responds to Backhouse's (2004) claims that there is no antagonism between history and equilibrium and no case to be made in principle against equilibrium analysis. We first show that Backhouse's partial defense of equilibrium analysis has already been encompassed by heterodox theory. We then identify a "traditional equilibrium approach" to economic analysis and provide a general critique of this approach based on its perceived infidelity to the properties of social reality. Finally, we argue that this exercise exemplifies Lawson's (2005a) thesis that heterodox skepticism of equilibrium analysis is motivated by ontic concernsâthat is, concerns with the intrinsic properties of the social material that is being theorized by economists.

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Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Post Keynesian Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (January)
Pages: 191-209

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Handle: RePEc:mes:postke:v:29:y:2007:i:2:p:191-209
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