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On Walras's Concept of Equilibrium


  • Ariel Dvoskin
  • Andrés Lazzarini


The view that Walras's equilibrium concept refers to a temporary general equilibrium with stationary expectations has come to be the conventional opinion within the history of economics. This interpretation overlooks salient aspects of Walras's original equilibrium concept: (i) that it refers to a centre of gravitation, thus equilibrium must be assessed together with the adjustment mechanisms that are supposed to bring the economy towards its position of rest; (ii) that it attempts to represent a persistent position of the economic variables; and (iii) that it must not be regarded as a mere artificial model disconnected from reality, but as a device to understand how actual economies work. We therefore conclude that the scope of Walras's work can be better grasped by interpreting his equilibrium system as aiming to describe a long-period position of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Ariel Dvoskin & Andrés Lazzarini, 2013. "On Walras's Concept of Equilibrium," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 117-138, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:25:y:2013:i:1:p:117-138
    DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2013.737127

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bliss, C. J., 1975. "Capital Theory and the Distribution of Income," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 1, number 9780720436044 edited by Bliss, C. J..
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    Cited by:

    1. Fratini, Saverio M., 2017. "Neoclassical theories of stationary relative prices and the supply of capital," MPRA Paper 76343, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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