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The LeChatelier Principle


  • Paul Milgrom
  • John Roberts


Forthcoming in the American Economic Review The LeChatelier principle, in the form introduced into economics by Samuelson, asserts that at a point of long-run equilibrium, the derivative of long-run compensated demand with respect to own price is larger in magnitude than the derivative of short-run compensated demand. We introduce an extended LeChatelier principle that applies also to large price changes and to uncompensated demand as well as to a wide range of concave and nonconcave maximization problems outside the scope of demand theory. This extension also clarifies the intuitive basis of the principle. JEL classification numbers: C60, D10, D20.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, "undated". "The LeChatelier Principle," Working Papers 95007, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:95007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-180, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nocetti, Diego C., 2013. "The LeChatelier principle for changes in risk," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 460-466.
    2. Zafirovski, Milan, 2002. "Reconsidering equilibrium: a socio-economic perspective," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 559-579.
    3. Hennessy, David A. & Saak, Alexander E., 2003. "State-Contingent Demand for Herbicide-Tolerance Seed Trait," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(01), April.
    4. David Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2017. "The Macroeconomic Impact of Microeconomic Shocks: Beyond Hulten's Theorem," Working Paper 482151, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    5. Alexei Alexandrov & Özlem Bedre-Defolie, 2015. "LeChatelier-Samuelson principle in games and pass-through of shocks," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-15-03, ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 01 Mar 2016.
    6. Briec, Walter & Kerstens, Kristiaan & Prior, Diego & Van de Woestyne, Ignace, 2010. "Tangency capacity notions based upon the profit and cost functions: A non-parametric approach and a general comparison," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1156-1166, September.
    7. Bigerna, Simona & Bollino, Carlo Andrea & Micheli, Silvia, 2016. "Renewable energy scenarios for costs reductions in the European Union," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 96(PA), pages 80-90.
    8. Lapan, Harvey E. & Hennessy, David A., 2007. "Unit Vs. Ad Valorem Taxes in Multi-Product Cournot Oligopoly," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12780, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    9. Hennessy, David A., 1997. "The short- and long-run comparative statics of uncertainty," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 347-353, September.
    10. Erik Brynjolfsson & Daniel Rock & Chad Syverson, 2018. "Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox: A Clash of Expectations and Statistics," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Nti, Kofi O. & Dompere, Kofi K., 1997. "Technological progress and optimal factor demand," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 117-130, April.
    12. Alexandrov, Alexei & Bedre-Defolie, Özlem, 2017. "LeChatelier–Samuelson principle in games and pass-through of shocks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 44-54.
    13. David A. Hennessy, 2005. "Slaughterhouse Rules: Animal Uniformity and Regulating for Food Safety in Meat Packing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 600-609.
    14. Daron Acemoglu, 2007. "Equilibrium Bias of Technology," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1371-1409, September.
    15. George Lady & James Quirk, 2010. "The global LeChatelier Principle and multimarket equilibria," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 14(1), pages 193-201, March.
    16. Bertrand Koebel & François Laisney, 2014. "Aggregation with Cournot Competition: the Le Chatelier Samuelson Principle," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 115-116, pages 343-360.
    17. Elena Antoniadou, 2007. "Comparative Statics for the Consumer Problem," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 189-203, April.
    18. Peter Arendorf Bache & Anders Laugesen, 2013. "An Industry-Equilibrium Analysis of the LeChatelier Principle," Economics Working Papers 2013-16, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    19. Peter Arendorf Bache & Anders Laugesen, 2013. "Monotone Comparative Statics for the Industry Composition," Economics Working Papers 2013-10, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    20. Lady, George M. & Quirk, James P., 2007. "The scope of the LeChatelier Principle," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 381(C), pages 351-365.
    21. Julian Jamison, 2006. "The Le Chatelier Principle in lattices," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 3(2), pages 1-9.
    22. Anne-Christine Barthel, 2013. "Extending The Scope Of Monotone Comparative Statics Results," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201305, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised May 2013.
    23. Chen, Yah-Wei & Huang, Tai-Hsin, 2009. "The LeChatelier principle in a DEA model," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(1), pages 371-373, August.
    24. Roberts, Kevin, 1999. "Rationality and the LeChatelier Principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 416-428, August.
    25. Natsuko Iwasaki & Victor Tremblay, 2009. "The effect of marketing regulations on efficiency: LeChatelier versus coordination effects," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 41-54, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General
    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General


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