On the Finding of an Equilibrium: Düppe–Weintraub and the Problem of Scientific Credit
- (pp. 590-633)
AbstractIn this review article, I read a book that revolves around two papers published in 1954, one by Lionel McKenzie, and the other by Kenneth Arrow and Gérard Debreu—Till Düppe and E. Roy Weintraub's Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Problem of Scientific Credit (2014). Under a tripartite categorization of people, context, and credit, this book advances the claim that "by being applied, interpreted, shaped, and reshaped, [these] proofs came to symbolize a new intellectual culture in American economics and help reconstruct the body of economic knowledge" (Düppe and Weintraub 2014, p. 204). My reading leads me to contest this claim, and also to contest whether a history of economic analysis, much less a history of economic thought, can be written by taking refuge in the vernacular of ancillary discourses orthogonal to the subject matter whose history is being written, and without the disciplinary criteria that these discourses operate under. An unintended consequence of my reading is the identification of lacunae in the reception of these proofs, an underscoring of Paul A. Samuelson's panoramic vision, and a reemphasis of the sterling contributions of David Gale, Thomas Kuhn, Hukukane Nikaido, and Hirofumi Uzawa.
CitationKhan, M Ali. 2021. "On the Finding of an Equilibrium: Düppe–Weintraub and the Problem of Scientific Credit." Journal of Economic Literature, 59 (2): 590-633. DOI: 10.1257/jel.20191247
- A14 Sociology of Economics
- B23 History of Economic Thought: Quantitative and Mathematical
- B30 History of Economic Thought: Individuals: General
- C60 Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling: General