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Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Problem of Scientific Credit Hardcover – 21 Jul 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (21 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691156646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691156644
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 771,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Inside Flap

"Düppe and Weintraub have written a powerful book that is both a marvelous introduction to modern economics for all who want to know what mathematical economists are up to, and a deep, textured account of the paths Arrow, Debreu, and McKenzie followed on their way to general equilibrium theory. A thoughtful mix of biography, intellectual history, and mathematical expertise, Finding Equilibrium invites us into the moments that proved decisive for economics as it exists today."--Peter Galison, author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps

"A fascinating account of one of the central quests of modern economics--finding general conditions under which the existence of a competitive equilibrium is assured. Offering remarkable insights into the workings of the economics profession, this book illuminates the interplay between the personalities of the researchers, the structure of their ideas, and the historical events of their time."--Jerry R. Green, Harvard University

"Lakatos used history to show us the informality of mathematics. Düppe and Weintraub use history to show us how personal mathematics is: how the commitments of economists, and their personalities, are expressed in their mathematical accounts. Three different economists, three different mathematics of general equilibria--this narrative brilliantly destabilizes any linear story about a central motif in the creation of modern economics."--Mary S. Morgan, London School of Economics and University of Amsterdam

"'Unputdownable' is a word more often used of novels than of books on general equilibrium theory, but it describes this book. Written in a style accessible to nonmathematicians, Finding Equilibrium makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the rise of mathematical economics after the Second World War."--Roger Backhouse, author of The Ordinary Business of Life: A History of Economics from the Ancient World to the Twenty-First Century

"By focusing on what became one of the central theoretical endeavors in postwar economics--proving the existence of general market equilibrium--this important book investigates not just the transformation of economic theory, but also changes in the discipline of economics, the blurring of disciplinary boundaries, and the evolution of the economist's scientific persona."--Harro Maas, Utrecht University

About the Author

Till Düppe is assistant professor of economics at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He is the author of "The Making of the Economy". E. Roy Weintraub is professor of economics at Duke University. He is the author of "How Economics Became a Mathematical Science."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By flixton on 17 Sep 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this but not really for the general reader
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I greatly enjoyed this book and agree with one of the dust ... 17 Sep 2014
By Robert Carow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I greatly enjoyed this book and agree with one of the dust jacket commentators that the book is "'Unputdownable'. However, I have no idea what the authors are actually discussing in terms of the real content of the papers by Arrow/Debreu and McKenzie. There is no substantive discussion about the mathematics of economic equilibria and no comparison of the actual differences between the two papers. Nor is there any discussion about how these papers have advanced our understanding of an important economic phenomena. I understand that such a discussion would have been off-putting to many readers. However, without this level of detail we are left with a book that is mostly academic gossip!
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