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Marshall's ceteris paribus in a dynamic framework


  • F. Cerina



The paper aims to propose a formalization of the concept of ceteris paribus (CP) by means of a dynamic model. The basic result of the analysis is that the CP clause may assume essentially different meanings according to (1) the kind of variables assumed to be "frozen" and (2) the length of the time horizon. It is then possible to distinguish, respectively, between an historical and an endogenous CP and, within the latter, between a short-run and a long-run CP. This double analytical distinction helps in understanding the role the CP clause plays in economic dynamics. Finally, the notion of long-run CP seems to suggest an extension of the standard view of the CP concept - interpreted as dynamics on manifolds, it still reduces the degree of complexity of a system even if variables "frozen" in it need not to be constant.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Cerina, 2005. "Marshall's ceteris paribus in a dynamic framework," Working Paper CRENoS 200501, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200501

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:56:y:1962:i:01:p:108-113_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Schlicht, Ekkehart, . "Isolation and Aggregation in Economics," Monographs in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics, number 3, Jul-Dec.
    3. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    4. Fabio Cerina, 2001. "Dinamica e ceteris paribus in una economia marshalliana," STUDI ECONOMICI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2001(75).
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2768-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Duane Windsor, 2010. "The Role of Dynamics in Stakeholder Thinking," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(1), pages 79-87, August.

    More about this item


    ceteris paribus; marshall; dynamics; partial equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General

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