This book deals with one of the most puzzling concepts in economic science, that of economic equilibrium. In modern economics, equilibrium is considered a key assumption, but its role is contested by economists both from within the mainstream and from rival schools of thought.
What explains the contradictory assessments of the equilibrium concept in economics? Do economists belonging to different traditions disagree about the definition of equilibrium or do they adopt different rules for assessing scientific status? In this unique and exhaustive study, Bert Tieben answers these questions by investigating the history of equilibrium economics from 1700 to the present day. He concludes that ideology strongly coloured the development of this branch of theory, helping to explain the vehemence of the debates surrounding the concept. He also argues that scientific progress in economics may indeed be fostered by such opposition and contention, and calls for cross fertilization and stronger cooperation between the different schools of thought.
This resourceful book will appeal to post graduate students and scholars in the history of economic thought and economic methodology. Both neoclassical and heterodox economists, most notably Austrian, post Keynesian and institutional economists, will also find much to interest them.
Bert Tieben, SEO Economic Research, The Netherlands
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. What is Equilibrium? 3. Methodological Assessment 4. The Origins of Economic Equilibrium 5. The Circular Flow of Goods and Money 6. Adam Smith's Love of System 7. Statics and Dynamics in Classical Economics 8. Mathematical Revolution 9. The Dreamland of Leon Walras 10. The Subjectivist Challenge of the Austrian School 11. Monetary Equilibrium 12. Dynamic Analysis in Monetary Theory 13. The Impact of Uncertainty 14. Creative Entrepreneurship: Chaos or Coordination? 15. Evolutionary Economics 16. Disequilibrium Foundations of Equilibrium Analysis 17. Economics With or Without Equilibrium? References Index