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History versus Equilibrium: Nicholas Kaldor on Historical Time and Economic Theory


  • Setterfield, Mark


Nicholas Kaldor's biographers portray his intellectual development as a linear progression, away from conventional equilibrium methodology and towards an emphasis on history as the organizing concept for economic analysis. This paper contends, however, that the methodology advocated in Kaldor's later work is explicit in one of his earliest papers, 'A Classificatory Note on the Determinateness of Equilibrium,' published in 1934. Indeed, Kaldor's conception of the nature of path dependency in the 1930s is more sophisticated than that found in his later work. Emphasis is placed on the lessons for current research into path dependency that can be learned from the study of Kaldor's intellectual development. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Setterfield, Mark, 1998. "History versus Equilibrium: Nicholas Kaldor on Historical Time and Economic Theory," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(5), pages 521-537, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:22:y:1998:i:5:p:521-37

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Mark Blaug, 1991. "The Historiography of Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 632.
    9. Stigler, George J & Stigler, Stephen M & Friedland, Claire, 1995. "The Journals of Economics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 331-359, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zafirovski, Milan, 2002. "Reconsidering equilibrium: a socio-economic perspective," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 559-579.
    2. Ron Martin, 2012. "Regional economic resilience, hysteresis and recessionary shocks," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-32, January.
    3. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6516 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Alain Hersovici, 2005. "O modelo de instabilidade de Harrod: uma abordagem em termos de não linearidade," Working Papers 0020, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Department of Economics.
    5. Constantinos Alexiou & Joseph G. Nellis, 2013. "Challenging the Raison d’etre of Internal Devaluation in the Context of the Greek Economy," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(6), pages 813-836, December.
    6. Zdeněk CHYTIL & Lukáš Máslo, . "Conceptualization of Historical Time in Post Keynesian Economics," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 0, pages 1-25.
    7. Lukáš Kovanda, 2010. "Kritický realismus: ontologická báze postkeynesovské ekonomie
      [Critical Realism as an Ontological Basis of Post-Keynesianism]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(5), pages 608-622.
    8. Miguel A. León-Ledesma & Matteo Lanzafame, 2010. "The Endogenous Nature of the ‘Natural’ Rate of Growth," Chapters,in: Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Growth, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Ricardo Chica & Oscar Guevara & Diana López & Daniel Osorio, 2012. "Growth determinants in Latin America and East Asia: has globalization changed the engines of growth?," COYUNTURA ECONÓMICA, FEDESARROLLO, June.
    10. Nishi, Hiroshi, 2016. "A multi-sectoral balance-of-payments-constrained growth model with sectoral heterogeneity," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 31-45.

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