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Walras on capital: interpretative insights from a review by Bortkiewicz

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  • Petri, Fabio

    () (Università degli Studi di Siena (University of Siena))

Abstract

A review by Bortkiewicz, wholeheartedly approved by Walras, of the second edition of the Eléments supplies an important insight, until now neglected, on how Walras interpreted his own capitalization equations before the fourth edition. The insight helps to explain why Walras was for so long unable to perceive that his given vectorial endowment of capital goods was incompatible with the uniform rate of return on supply price that he was assuming. Walras seems to have confusedly considered the capital endowments relevant for the determi-nation of equilibrium rentals to be the ones resulting from the production of new capital goods, and therefore as having already undergone an adjustment of their composition toward the one required for URRSP. Realization of the erroneousness of this view can explain the unobtrusive but crucial changes in the discussion of capitalization in the fourth edition, and most likely also the introduction of the ‘bons’.

Suggested Citation

  • Petri, Fabio, 2016. "Walras on capital: interpretative insights from a review by Bortkiewicz," Centro Sraffa Working Papers CSWP17, Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione "Piero Sraffa".
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:sraffa:0017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roberto Marchionatti, 2007. "On the application of mathematics to political economy'. The Edgeworth--Walras--Bortkievicz controversy, 1889--1891," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 291-307, March.
    2. Antoine Rebeyrol, 2002. "'Yet another look'? A comment," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 541-549.
    3. Walker, Donald A, 1987. "Walras's Theories of Tatonnement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 758-774, August.
    4. Pascal Bridel & Elisabeth Huck, 2002. "Yet another look at Leon Walras's theory of tatonnement," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 513-540.
    5. Franco Donzelli, 2005. "Equilibrium and Tâtonnement in Walras' Eléments," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1010, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:bla:metroe:v:70:y:2019:i:4:p:723-737 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Saverio M. Fratini, 2019. "Neoclassical theories of stationary relative prices and the supply of capital," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 723-737, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Walras; capital; Bortkiewicz; tâtonnement;

    JEL classification:

    • B13 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Neoclassical through 1925 (Austrian, Marshallian, Walrasian, Wicksellian)
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General

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