Title

What A Difference A Sum (sigma) Makes: Success And Failure In The Rationalization Of Demand

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1-2012

Publication Title

Journal Of The History Of Economic Thought

Department

Economics

Abstract

This paper discusses the Sonnenschein-Mantel-Debreu (SMD) theorems in general equilibrium theory. It argues that the SMD results were related to the previous literature on the integrability of demand. The integrability question involved rationalizing individual demand functions, and the SMD theorems asked the same question about aggregate (market) excess demand functions. The paper's two goals are to demonstrate how the SMD results followed naturally from the earlier work on integrability, and to point out that the profession's reception was quite different; the integrability results were considered a success story, while the SMD results were quite negative.

Volume

34

Issue

3

pp.

379-396

ISSN

1053-8372