FIRST EDITION OF NOBEL LAUREATE GERARD DEBREU'S THEORY OF VALUE, HIS "MASTERPIECE"
DEBREU, Gerard. Theory of Value. An Axiomatic Analysis of Economic Equilibrium. New York / London: John Wiley & Sons / Chapman & Hall, (1959). Slim octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $4200.
First edition of the groundbreaking work by Debreu, winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Economics, viewed as "one of the few classics of our period" by the prestigious American Economic Review for his revolutionary insights into the economics of "'general equilibrium"—demonstrating a "freely competitive economy can, in theory, reach a state in which supply balances demand in every market… an entire economy could, at least theoretically if not necessarily in fact, be in equilibrium" (Time), a handsome copy in the original dust jacket.
Debreu won the 1983 Nobel Prize for incorporating "new analytical methods into economic theory and for his rigorous reformulation of the theory of general equilibrium" (Nobel Prize Committee). His "masterpiece, Theory of Value (1959), showed that a freely competitive economy can, in theory, reach a state in which supply balances demand in every market and there are neither shortages nor surpluses of any product. Such a condition is called 'general equilibrium.' Economists have always known that supply could equal demand in a single market… But before Debreu they could not be certain that an entire economy could, at least theoretically if not necessarily in fact, be in equilibrium." His brilliant insight into "one of the deepest and most nagging problems in economics" made Debreu "a revered figure among his colleagues" (Time). On its publication the reviewer for the preeminent American Economic Review deemed Theory of Value "one of the few classics of our period." Its influence was widespread, prompting economists to apply his "theories to problems like analyzing business cycles and measuring the cost to the economy of inefficiencies like traffic congestion… 'He brought to economics a mathematical rigor that had not been seen before'" (New York Times). "Monograph 17" of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics at Yale University. First printing with no additional printings noted. Owner signature. Faint trace of penciled marginalia.
Book fine; small chip to head of lightly toned spine, tiny bit of archival tape reinforcement to verso of near-fine dust jacket.