Classical General Equilibrium Theory

Classical General Equilibrium Theory

By Lionel W. McKenzie

Hardcover $45.00 S £38.00
Paperback $19.75 S £15.99





Although general equilibrium theory originated in the late nineteenth century, modern elaboration and development of the theory began only in the 1930s and 1940s. This book focuses on the version of the theory developed in the second half of the twentieth century, referred to by Lionel McKenzie as the classical general equilibrium theory. McKenzie offers detailed and rigorous treatment of the classical model, giving step-by-step proofs of the basic theorems. In many cases he elaborates on the individual steps to give a fuller understanding of the underlying principles. His goal is to provide readers with a true mastery of the methodology so that they can derive new results that will further enrich their thinking about general equilibrium theory. Special attention is given to the McKenzie model, in which it is not assumed that the number of firms is given but rather that technologies or activities are available to any agents who can supply the resources they require. The McKenzie model is used to establish the turnpike theorems of optimal and competitive capital accumulation.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262134132 332 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 24 illus.


$19.75 S | £15.99 ISBN: 9780262633307 332 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 24 illus.


  • A beautifully written, integrated treatment of the main topics in microeconomics, this book takes the reader from first principles to the cutting edge of theory today. It is, and will remain, a classic work.

    Jerry Green

    John Leverett Professor in the University and David A. Wells Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University

  • McKenzie is one of the great innovators in the field of general equilibrium theory; his was the first paper published establishing the existence of general equilibrium. His new book is a tour de force of synthesis, presenting with admirable clarity and rigor the important results in the field. Indeed, he goes beyond the field to discuss such issues as turnpike theorems and optimal capital accumulation, to whose development he has contributed so much.

    Kenneth J. Arrow

    Professor of Economics Emeritus, Stanford University

  • This book is a masterwork by one of the three founders of the modern field of general equilibrium theory. All economists will want to own this volume. It covers not only classical theory but also the research frontier. It is written with the beauty and clarity that one would expect of a founding father.

    William A. Brock

    Vilas Research Professor of Economics, The University of Wisconsin, Madison

  • Lionel McKenzie's new monograph is a pleasure to read. Only a major contributor to economic theory could teach general equilibrium theory with such clarity and authority. The book is gracefully written and rigorous, and does an elegant job of situating competitive equilibrium theory in the economic and mathematical traditions from which it evolved.

    Robert E. Lucas, Jr.

    John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago

  • This book is itself a modern classic. It summarizes deftly, succinctly, and elegantly four decades of vintage frontier findings by two top score academics. McKenzie himself is first among equals in this stellar group.

    Paul A. Samuelson

    Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT, and Nobel Laureate in Economics (1970)

  • Over a period of fifty years McKenzie has pioneered, organized, and taught general equilibrium. This volume, by a master of the subject, serves as an indispensable guide to rigorous general equilibrium. The serious reader will be amply rewarded.

    Hugo Sonnenschein

    Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor and President Emeritus, University of Chicago