Francois Perroux (1903-1987)

François Perroux belongs to that small, strange group of unique Frenchmen who, in spite of the Anglophone dominance of economics, still manage to ocassionally infect the imagination of the economics world with their novel ideas.

At Collège de France, Francois Perroux studied under Etienne Antonelli, the last lingering shadow of the Lausanne School. In many ways, Perroux inherited the mantle of Leon Walras and carried it to perhaps where the failed engineering student would have liked to have taken it.

Like Walras, he was a Cartesian in method, a socialist in sentiment and an evolutionist in vision. His early acquaintance and interaction with other independent thinkers, such as Pantaleoni, Aftalion, Joseph Schumpeter, Morgenstern and Maurice Allais, added even more streams of flavor into his unique blend of thinking. After setting up the Institut de Sciences Economiques Appliqueées (ISEA) in 1944, he had a chance to encounter and absorb the ideas of the younger economists which converged upon it.

His first important book – La Valeur (1943) – was a rather standard exercise in understanding Walrasian thinking. But the germ was already there: general equilibrium theory as the interaction of multiple forces.

Major Works of Francois Perroux:

– Le Problème du profit, 1926
– Les mythes hitlériens, 1936
– Les mythes hitlériens et l’Europe allemande, 1940
– La Valeur, 1943
– Cours d’économie politique, 1947
– Le Plan Marshall ou l’Europe Nécessaire au Monde, 1948
– Economic Spaces: Theory and application, 1950, QJE
– L’Europe sans fivages, 1954
– Théorie générale du progrès économique, 1956
– Prises de vue sur la croissance de l’économie française, 1780-1950, 1956, Income and Wealth
– La coexistence pacifique, 1958
– Economie et Société, Contrainte, Echange, Dons, 1960
– Industrie et Création Collective, 1964-1970
– Le pain et la parole, 1969
– L’Economie du XXème siècle, 1969
– Aliénation et Société Industrielle, 1970
– Pouvoir et Economie, 1973
– Unités actives et mathématiques nouvelles: Révision de la théorie de l’équilibre général, 1975
– L’équilibrie des unités passives et l’équilibration générale des unités actives”, 1978, Economie Appliquee
– A New Concept of Development, 1983

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