Rareness in the intellectual origins of Walras’ theory of value

Por • 29 oct, 2022 • Sección: Educacion

BY Pablo Cervera-Ferri* and Pau Insa-Sánchez**

 Abstract Historians of economic thought have carried out detailed studies of classical and marginalist approaches to value based on production cost and utility respectively, not to mention about the fusion of both interpretations by the neoclassical school. This is not the case with rareness value, a theory commonly attributed to Léon Walras, although Aristotle surely had rareness in mind when he first attempted to explain chrematistics. This article focuses on how our understanding of rareness has evolved from the earliest economic formulations to those of Auguste and Léon Walras, contesting Rothbard’s thesis that there is only one way in which the transmission of the utility theory of value can be tracked from scholasticism to the Austrian school. On the contrary, the concept of rareness continued to figure in some theories of value of the French Enlightenment, especially those that emerged within Calvinist circles, and was recovered in times of reaction against the dominant classicism.

* Department of Economic Analysis, University of Valencia. E-mail: pablo.cervera@uv.es

 ** Department of Economic Analysis, University of Valencia. Email: pau.insa@uv.es

 

RARENESS IN THE INTELLECTUAL ORIGINS OF WALRAS’ THEORY OF. VALUE. BY PABLO CERVERA-FERRI* AND PAU INSA-SÁNCHEZ**

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