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Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Problem of Scientific Credit Hardcover – July 21, 2014
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Winner of the 2016 Joseph J. Spengler Best Book Prize, History of Economics Society
"[An] engaging and illuminating history of the mid-twentieth-century proofs of competitive general equilibrium and the three authors associated with them."--S. Abu Turab Rizvi, Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics
"The book has a marvelous and incredibly detailed reconstruction of the paths pursued by the three protagonists with mathematical details suppressed."--Olav Bjerkholt, EH.Net
"A fascinating history about modern economics and some of its key historical actors . . . also a treatise on historiography."--Marcel J. Boumans, History of Economic Ideas
"Finding Equilibrium is a testament to the importance of writing the history of recent economics. The fact that it is a gripping read . . . only adds to the impressiveness of Düppe and Weintraub's accomplishment. May it have many imitators."--Steven G. Medema, Journal of the History of Economic Thought
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 ofEinstein'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 ofThe 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
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But this book is fascinating in any case, and is minor classic in the realm of neo-classical mathematical economics, aka economic dark arts.
It is a useful history of one of the more obscure areas of the economic reasoning by which we are, well, in Keynesian 'all dead'. Now I will have to study this subject in greater detail.