Appraising general equilibrium analysis

Economics and Philosophy 1 (1):23- (1985)
Abstract
General equilibrium analysis is a theoretical structure which focuses research in economics. On this point economists and philosophers agree. Yet studies in general equilibrium analyses are not well understood in the sense that, though their importance is recognized, their role in the growth of economic knowledge is a subject of some controversy. Several questions organize an appraisal of general equilibrium analysis. These questions have been variously posed by philosophers of science, economic methodologists, and historians of economic thought. Is general equilibrium analysis a theory, a paradigm, a scientific research program, or a set of interrelated theories? Is it not any of these but rather a branch of applied mathematics? Is GE analysis associated with the growth of knowledge, or does it waste intellectual resources? How is it related to other work in economics? Is it connected to, or is it apart from, the concerns of applied economists?
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