In order to understand the various strands of general equilibrium theory, why it has taken the forms that it has since the time of Leon Walras, and to appreciate fully a view of the state of general equilibrium theorising, it is essential to understand Walras's work and examine its influence. The first section of this book accordingly examines the foundations of Walras's work. These include his philosophical and methodological approach to economic modelling, his views on human nature, and the basic components of his general equilibrium models. The second section examines how the influence of his ideas has been manifested in the theorising of his successors, surveying the models of theorists such as H. L. Moore, Vilfredo Pareto, Knut Wicksell, Gustav Cassel, Abraham Wald, John von Neumann, J. R. Hicks, Kenneth Arrow, and Gerard Debreu. The treatment also examines models of many types in which Walras's influence is explicitly acknowledged.
Donald A. Walker is University Professor and Professor of Economics Emeritus at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Walras's Market Models (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Advances in General Equilibrium Theory (1997), and many articles and reviews in professional journals, chapters in collections, and entries in handbooks and encyclopedias. Professor walker is the editor of William Jaffe's Essay's on Walras (Cambridge University Press, 1983), Money and Markets: Essays by Robert W. Clower (Cmabridge University Press, 1984), Equilibrium (3 vols., 2000), The Legacy of Leon Walras (2 vols., 2001), and, with J.-P. Potier, of La Correspondance entre Aline Walras et William Jaffe (2004), among other works. He was President of the History of Economics Society in 1987-1988, Editor of the Journal of the History of Economic Thoughts from 1989-1999, and the first President of the International Walras Society, 1997-2000.