Marshall's ceteris paribus in a dynamic framework

TitleMarshall's ceteris paribus in a dynamic framework
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsF. Cerina
Number2005_01
Keywordsceteris paribus, dynamics, marshall, partial equilibrium
Abstract

The paper aims to propose a formalization of the concept of ceteris paribus (CP) by means of a dynamic model. The basic result of the analysis is that the CP clause may assume essentially different meanings according to (1) the kind of variables assumed to be ”frozen” and (2) the length of the time horizon. It is then possible to distinguish, respectively, between an historical and an endogenous CP and, within the latter, between a short-run and a long-run CP. This double analytical distinction helps in understanding the role the CP clause plays in economic dynamics. Finally, the notion of long-run CP seems to suggest an extension of the standard view of the CP concept: interpreted as dynamics on manifolds, it still reduces the degree of complexity of a system even if variables ”frozen” in it need not to be constant.

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