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Samuel(novelistButler

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All thinking is of disturbance, dynamical, a state of unrest tending towards equilibrium. It is all a mode of classifying and of criticising with a view of knowing whether it gives us, or is likely to give us, pleasure or no.
--
Thinking.

 
Samuel(novelistButler

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I remember Robbins asking me if I could turn the Hayek model into mathematics it began to dawn on me that the model must be better specified. It was claimed that, if there were no monetary disturbance, the system would remain in 'equilibrium'. What could such an equilibrium mean? This, as it turned out, was a very deep question; I could do no more, in 1932, than make a start at answering it. I began by looking at what had been said by Pareto and Wicksell. Their equilibrium was a static equilibrium, in which neither prices nor outputs were changing That, clearly, would not do for Hayek. His 'equilibrium' must be progressive equilibrium, in which real wages, in particular, would be rising, so relative prices could not remain unchange The next step in my thinking, was equilibrium with perfect foresight. Investment of capital, to yield its fruit in the future, must be based on expectations, of opportunities in the future. When I put this to Hayek, he told me that this was indeed the direction in which he had been thinking. Hayek gave me a copy of a paper on 'intertemporal equilibrium', which he had written some years before his arrival in London; the conditions for a perfect foresight equilibrium were there set out in a very sophisticated manner.

 
Friedrich Hayek
 

There is reason for this shift of emphasis from any actual price to a hypothetical 'equilibrium' price. It is usually more interesting to know where a train is going than to know exactly where it is at any moment. The 'equilibrium' position of any price, wage, firm, industry, or system is the position toward which it is tending. The importance of equilibrium analysis, then, is that it enables us to discuss the directions of change. If a train is in New- York and its 'equilibrium' position is in Chicago, we are reasonably confident that the general direction of its motion will be westward, even if it unaccountably decides to travel north for the first hundred and fifty miles.

 
Kenneth Boulding
 

On any longer view, man is only fitfully committed to the rational to thinking, seeing, learning, knowing. Believing is what he's really proud of.

 
Martin Amis
 

Economic theory is devoted to the study of equilibrium positions. The concept of equilibrium is very useful. It allows us to focus on the final outcome rather than the process that leads up to it. But the concept is also very deceptive. It has the aura of something empirical: since the adjustment process is supposed to lead to an equilibrium, an equilibrium position seems somehow implicit in our observations. That is not true. Equilibrium itself has rarely been observed in real life market prices have a notorious habit of fluctuating.

 
George Soros
 

The truth is, I do indulge myself a little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age of my life to do it; and out of my observation that most men that do thrive in the world, do forget to take pleasure during the time that they are getting their estate, but reserve that till they have got one, and then it is too late for them to enjoy it with any pleasure.

 
Samuel Pepys
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