First published in 1986, this title argues that the successful development of a new microeconomics requires a deeper understanding of methodological individualism and its role in stability analysis.
Lawrence Boland expounds a critique of neoclassical models, which, he contends, often fail to include an explicit stability analysis. He demonstrates that much of the sophisticated theoretical literature over the past thirty years can be understood as ad hoc attempts to overcome the deficiencies of such models in the absence of cogent stability analyses. In conclusion, he explains the need to update the theory taught at universities, and to develop a truly individualist version of microeconomics that is consistent with the methodological principles of major neoclassical models.
An important contribution to economic methodology, this work is a highly valuable resource for all students and teachers of economics at the undergraduate level.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Preface; Introduction: On the Foundations of Comparative Statics; Part I: The Economics of Sub-optimal Economies 1. The State of Equilibrium as an Optimum 2. Optimization vs. Equilibrium; Part II: Foundations of Equilibrium Methodology 3. Individualism and Differential Calculus 4. Methods of Explaining Disequilibrium States 5. Proofs vs. Conjectures in Analytical Economics; Part III: Limits of Equilibrium Methodology 6. Equilibria and Teleological Statics 7. Equilibria vs. Equilibrium Processes 8. Against Macroeconomics as Defeatist Microeconomics; Part IV: Avenues for a New Microeconomics of Non-Equilibria 9. Ad Hoc Theorizing about Price Dynamics: A Slippery Slope 10. Ad Hoc Theorizing about Non-clearing Markets: A Rocky Road 11. Learning Methodology and the Equilibrium Process: A Murky Mews; Bibliography; Names Index; Subject Index