Pareto Optima and Equilibria: The Finite Dimensional Case

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems book series (LNE, volume 244)


We aim at a succint presentation of the finite-dimensional mathematical theory associated with the so-called fundamental theorems of welfare economics. Very roughly these assert that, under some conditions, every price equilibrium is an optimum in the sense of Pareto and, conversely, under other (typically stronger) hypotheses, every optimum is a price equilibrium. This is a classical area of the theory of general economic equilibrium and it has been the object of extensive mathematical economic research. We refer to Debreu (1959, Ch. 7), Arrow and Hahn (1971, Ch. 4) and Mas-Colell (1985, Ch. 4) for systematic accounts.


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  1. Arrow, K. and F. Hahn (1971), General Competitive Analysis, San Francisco: Holden — DayGoogle Scholar
  2. Debreu, G. (1959), Theory of Value, New York: WileyGoogle Scholar
  3. Mas-Colell, A. (1983), The price equilibrium existence problem in Banach lattices, mimeographed, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  4. Mas-Colell, A. (1985), The Theory of General Economic Equilibrium: A Differentiable Approach, New York: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsHarvard UniversityCambridgeEngland

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