On the Finding of an Equilibrium: Düppe–Weintraub and the Problem of Scientific Credit
M. Ali Khan
- Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
In this review article, I read a book that revolves around two papers published in 1954, one by McKenzie, and the other by Arrow–Debreu. 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" (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 Samuelson's panoramic vision, and a re-emphasis of the sterling contributions of Gale, Kuhn,
Nikaido, and Uzawa.
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