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FISHER, Irving.

Mathematical Investigations in the Theory of Value and Prices.

New Haven & London: Yale University Press & Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1925 Stock Code: 131968
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First edition in book form, first impression, author's presentation copy, of the "startlingly original PhD thesis" (Blaug) which expounds the monetary theories for which Fisher became famous and established his international reputation.

This is a photo-engraved reprint of Fisher's doctoral work, first published in the Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1892. "Fisher's aim in his Mathematical Investigations was to present a general mathematical model of the determination of value and prices. He claimed to have specified the equations of general economic equilibrium for the case of independent goods (chapter 4, sec. 10), although the only mathematical economist whose work he had consulted was Jevons. With commendable honesty he recognizes the priority of Walras's Eléments d'économie politique pure (1874) as far as the equations of the general equilibrium are concerned and likewise the priority of Edgeworth's Mathematical Psychics (1881) as regards the concept of utility surfaces. It appears that, although only a student, Fisher had independently developed a theory of general economic equilibrium that was identical to part of Walras's and included the concept of the indifference surface, one of the fundamental bases of modern economic theory" (IESS V, pp. 476-7).

This copy is inscribed on the front wrapper; "To D. H. Robertson with the compliments of Irving Fisher" Dennis Holme Robertson (1890-1963) read economics at Trinity College, Cambridge, obtaining a fellowship in 1914, and in 1944 succeeding Pigou in the chair of Political Economy. A monetary economist, pupil, collaborator and later a prominent critic of J. M. Keynes, his first work, A Study of Industrial Fluctuation, was published in 1915. His major contribution to economics was the study of business cycles.

Humphrey Milford (1877-1952) was the head of the London office of Oxford University Press and his name "became a familiar mark on Oxford books, distinguishing London volumes from the Clarendon Press imprint that appeared on works which the delegates supervised at Oxford" (ODNB). As such, his name appears on the title page of this copy.

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Octavo. Original printed stiff card wrappers, title printed in black within a double-rule border on front wrapper.


2 photographic frontispieces and numerous diagrams to the text.


Author's presentation inscription to head of front wrapper. A very good copy.


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