The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Computation of General Equilibria

  • Herbert E. Scarf
Reference work entry


The Walrasian model of economic equilibrium is a generalization to the entire economy of the basic notion that prices move to levels that equilibrate supply and demand. Although the model avoids some factors of economic significance, it is extremely useful in helping us evaluate the effects of changes in economic policy or the economic environment. A moderately realistic model designed to illustrate a significant economic issue typically involves a large system of highly nonlinear equations and inequalities. Existence of a solution is demonstrated by non-constructive fixed point theorems. The explicit numerical solution of such a model requires sophisticated computational techniques.


Arrow–Debreu model Barone, E. Brouwer’s fixed-point theorem Cobb–Douglas function Computation of general equilibria General equilibrium Harberger, A. Johansen, L. Kakutani’s fixed-point theorem Kuhn–Tucker Theorem Lange, O. Non-convexity Sperner’s lemma Technical coefficients of production Uncertainty Walras’s Law Walrasian model 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert E. Scarf
    • 1
  1. 1.