Maurice Allais on Equilibrium and Capital in some of his 1940s Writings
The article discusses M. Allais’ contributions on equilibrium and capital during the 1940s. While in his Traité (1943) Allais formalizes for the first time an intertemporal general equilibrium (IGE) in a finitehorizon economy, he subsequently abandons this notion, and in the Économie (1947) resumes, instead, the more traditional method based on the notion of stationary equilibrium. The article argues: i) that Allais’ reasons to leave the IGE framework behind, of which the most important turn round his misgivings about the sufficiently correct foresight entailed by that notion, and that reflect the impossibility to establish a correspondence between observations and theory by means of the IGE method, are well-justified; ii) that his shift to the method based on the notion of stationary equilibrium to connect the results of neoclassical theory with observations cannot be accepted, since a notion of stationary equilibrium that would make this correspondence possible must face an insurmountable difficulty in the treatment of the factor capital.
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