Development of the Theory of Exchange

This book outlines the development of the theory of exchange, paying particular attention to formal models produced during the last half of the 19th century. This is achieved in two ways, by providing an introductory survey of the development of the theory and by reproducing extracts from some of the major contributors. John Creedy examines Cournot's analysis of trade between regions and Walras's model of exchange with a utility maximising foundation. He also analyses the developments in England during this time including Mill's treatment of international trade, which simulated Whewell and Marshall's work on a non-utility framework. In addition, the author considers the pioneering contribution of Jevons who had a major influence on Edgeworth, who in turn managed to synthesise many of the theories as well as producing his own important innovations. Finally, the developments made by Launhardt and Wicksell to the modern theory of exchange are discussed. What emerges from John Creedy's account is that these models are formally similar, but often disguised as different approaches by the different emphasis placed on certain parts of the model by the individual contributors. This pioneering book will be of interest to those working in the fields of the history of economics, international trade and microeconomics.