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Hicks' thread (out of the equilibrium labyrinth)


  • Bianco, Antonio


The work of John Hicks is an unending source of inspiration for many economists and an unsolved dilemma for most historians of economic thought. In these pages, a reconstruction of the continuity principle, the red thread of his evolution as a theorist is proposed. Hicks’ research was inspired by a program of analyzing a process of change from an out-of-equilibrium perspective. Non-measurable risk and the time-to-build being the natural issues at stake in actual economic behavior, he made the transaction costs the kingpin of his technique of thinking. These allowed him to dispense with any essential reference to equilibrium conditions and to revolve around the sequential relationship of learning and planning, which lays at the core of his “Continuation theory”. In fixing its building blocks, he was primed to allow for equilibrium assumptions as far as a vantage point on out-of-equilibrium dynamics was attainable.

Suggested Citation

  • Bianco, Antonio, 2013. "Hicks' thread (out of the equilibrium labyrinth)," MPRA Paper 54402, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:54402

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hicks, John R [Sir], 1973. "Recollections and Documents," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 40(157), pages 2-11, February.
    2. Hicks, John, 1990. "The Unification of Macro-economics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 528-538, June.
    3. Hicks, John, 2017. "A Market Theory of Money," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198796237.
    4. Franco DONZELLI, 2010. "Hicks on Walrasian equilibrium in the 1930s and beyond," Departmental Working Papers 2010-39, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    5. Hicks, John, 1977. "Economic Perspectives: Further Essays on Money and Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284079.
    6. Robert A. Jones & Joseph M. Ostroy, 1984. "Flexibility and Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 13-32.
    7. Amendola, Mario & Gaffard, Jean-Luc, 1998. "Out of Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293804.
    8. Burmeister, Edwin, 1974. "Synthesizing the Neo-Austrian and Alternative Approaches to Capital Theory: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 413-456, June.
    9. Hicks, John R, 1974. "Capital Controversies: Ancient and Modern," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 307-316, May.
    10. Hicks, J R, 1970. "A Neo-Austrian Growth Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(318), pages 257-281, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bianco, Antonio, 2015. "Out of Equilibrium: Bases, Basics, Policies, and Accounts," MPRA Paper 65850, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Claudio Sardoni & Antonio Bianco, 2017. "Banking theories and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 3/17, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    3. Antonio Bianco, 2015. "Shadow banking, relationship banking, and the economics of depression," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 68(275), pages 297-326.

    More about this item


    Non-measurable risk; Change; Transaction costs; Microfoundations;

    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy


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