The Evolutionist Economics of Leon Walras

The Evolutionist Economics of Leon Walras

The Evolutionist Economics of Leon Walras

The Evolutionist Economics of Leon Walras


This study offers a new perspective of Walras' pure, applied and social economics. Through archival research at the University of Lausanne, Jolink considers Walrus' ideas on philosophy and philosophy of science based on a newly constructed taxonomy.


During the last decade the literature on Léon Walras has expanded enormously and, if the signs are right, there is more to come. Undoubtedly, the increased attention for the work of Walras has a lot to do with the increased accessibility of the work through the publication of the collected works by the Centre Walras at the University of Lyon and the archival work at the Centre Walras & Pareto at the University of Lausanne.

When I first began to 'research Walras' in 1987, the accessibility was not at its present state and most of the information I obtained was through my own plodding through the archives at the University of Lausanne, with the kind assistance of the archivists. I also had the pleasure of meeting some of the members of the Centre Walras at Lyon, who kindly led me through some of the Walras labyrinths. Their help made my annual pilgrimage to Walras territories both useful and pleasant.

I met Jan van Daal in 1986. He first introduced me to Walras when I started to write my Ph.D. thesis. Jan van Daal's Walrasian expertise, his mathematical eloquence and, above all, his enthusiasm for the Walras project made him into a very pleasant coauthor of the articles and books we wrote or edited together during the last years. the working together on The Equilibrium Economics of Léon Walras at Jan van Daal's cottage behind the dike will remain a wonderful memory (he sold the house) but has also led to a better understanding of the need of formalism in economics. He also kindly supervised my thesis, which I finished in 1991. All I have to offer is thanks.

Most of the material in this book draws heavily on the 1991 thesis although my personal feeling was that I was working on a new and very different book. in retrospect this feeling can prob-

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