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The Economics Book by DK

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RG

IN CONTEXT

FOCUS

Markets and firms

KEY THINKER

Alfred Marshall (1842–1924)

BEFORE

1844 Jules Dupuit, a French engineer, originates the idea of consumer surplus—a measurement of welfare that can be used to assess the impact of competition.

1861 John Elliott Cairnes clarifies the logic of J. S. Mill’s and David Ricardo’s theories of competition.

AFTER

1921 Frank Knight develops the notion of perfect competition.

1948 Friedrich Hayek’s Individualism and Economic Order attacks Marshall’s view of perfect competition.

In the late 18th century Adam Smith wrote about the impact of competition on firms’ abilities to set prices and make profits above a “natural” level. ...

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