Walras, Léon

Walras, Léon, 1834–1910, French economist. After abandoning his studies in mining engineering, he became a freelance journalist, advancing the causes of economic and social reform. He later became a professor of political economy at the Univ. of Lausanne (1870–1892). One of the most influential of economists, Walras advanced several theories that served as the foundation of modern economic analysis. He is widely regarded as the founder of the theory of general economic equilibrium, mathematical economics, the concept of “imperfect competition,” and the marginal utility theory. A prolific and creative writer, Walras's work also extended to such themes as managed currency, production, credit, and capital formation.

See his correspondence, ed. by W. Jaffé (3 vol., 1965), and Elements of Pure Economics (tr., 1984). See also D. A. Walker, ed., William Jaffe's Essays on Walras (1983).

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