Re: General Equilibrium Model

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: General Equilibrium Model
Date: 26 Dec 1998 05:55:25 GMT

jim blair writes:
> Goetz Kluge wrote:
> > Markets can be at equilibrium or close to it.
> I agree that it is theoritically possible for a market or a society to
> "be at or close to" equilibrium.  Ancient Egypt might have been several
> thousand years ago, or maybe Europe from the fall or Rome until the late
> 1400's.
> But has any industrial nation in the 20th century ever been "at
> equilibrium"?  I can't think of one.

Or, perhaps the run lengths, (ie., duration,) of cultures assemble
their self into an erf (1 / sqrt (t)) distribution, which would be
expected if the durations could be modeled as a random walk, (and I
wouldn't attempt an interpretation of the meaning of that.)

Although the data is sparse, and, at best, subjective, it does provide
a reasonably, (depending on one's POV, of course, of the historical
perspective,) accurate fit.

If it really is, and if we select the time unit of the duration of
cultures to be centuries, the Egyptians, at about three millenia,
would have won the lottery, with a chance of one in 1 in 6-at least so
far, (the ancient cultures of India are not far behind.) And, the
"average" duration of a culture would be about four centuries-50%
would last less, 50% more, (and the historical perspective fits the
random walk model fairly accurately.)


BTW, a good source on human cultures-although you will have to dig for
it-is "Legacy: The Search for Ancient Cultures," Michael Wood,
Sterling Publishing Company, New York, New York, 1992, ISBN
0-8069-0863-7, (which was, also, a PBS series, and is available on VHS
tape.) A scientific fantasy, relating the duration of cultures to
equity values at the end of the 20'th century is at,


John Conover,,

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