The Vision of Leon Walras
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: April 2006
Duration: 2 hours 50 minutes
Leon Walras (1834-1910) transformed economics from a literary discipline into a mathematical, deterministic science. For the first time, Walras expressed rigorously the view that all markets are related, and that their relationships can be described and analyzed mathematically. These interrelated markets tend toward a "general equilibrium" position, undergoing a constant interactive adjustment process that Walras called a "tatonnement". This conception of economics led to important new insights about the stability of markets and about the capitalist economic system. A follower of Walras, Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), viewed economics as part of the broader science of sociology, extending Walrasian analysis to say that society at large is an equilibrium system. This view profoundly influenced the modern course of the "social sciences", in which quantitative techniques have become standard analytical tools. Many later scholars have been awarded the Nobel Prize for developing the Walrasian analysis of capitalism.