Category Archives: Leon Walras

Field Theory in Physics and Macroeconomics

We hope to inspire serious graduate students of economics a) to seek and achieve an understanding of “Macroeconomic Field Theory,” b) to verify empirically Lonergan’s field relations,  and c) to use the explanatory field relations as the basis of influential scholarly papers.

We trace developments

  • in physics from Newtonian mechanics to modern field theory, and
  • in economics from Walrasian supply-demand economics to purely relational, Modern Macroeconomic Field Theory.

Key ideas include a) abstraction and implicit definition as the basis and ground of invariance in both physics and macroeconomics, b) the concept of a purely relational field, c) immanent intelligibility and formal causality, and d) the canons of parsimony and of complete explanation. We highlight some key ideas: (continue reading)

M. Leon Walras, and the “Curvature” of the Exchange Equations [Brief Item #78]

[2/23/20] M. Leon Walras developed the conception of the markets as exchange equilibria. Concentrate all markets into a single hall. Place entrepreneurs behind a central counter.  Let all agents of supply offer their services, and the same individuals, as purchasers, state their demands.  Then the function of the entrepreneur is to find the equilibrium between these demands and potential supply. … The conception is exact, but it is not complete.  It follows from the idea of exchange, but it does not take into account the phases of the productive rhythms. As has been shown, economic activity moves through a series of transformations and exploitations; and this series generates the succession of (point-to-line, point-to-point, cultural, and static phases.)  Now each phase in the exchange economy will have its exchange equilibrium, but the equilibria of the different phases differ radically from one another.  By this cyclic variation within the exchange equilibria there is effected the “curvature” of the exchange equations. [CWL 21, 51-52] [#78] (Click here for previous “Single Paragraphs” or “Brief Items”)

Walras’s System Lacks Dynamic Significance [Brief Item #75]

[2/10/20] Schumpeter, Walras: While we agree with Schumpeter that Walras’s system implicitly includes the aggregates commonly considered in macroanalysis, (Walras’s system) can hardly be credited with distinctions between basic and surplus expenditure, receipts, outlay, income, and much less with an account of their various dynamic relations.  But until such distinctions are drawn and their dynamic significance understood, the aggregates and relations cannot be contained implicitly in any system.  [#75] [CWL 15,  91-92] (Click here for previous “Single Paragraphs” or “Brief Items”)