SFB 303 Discussion Paper No. A - 341

Author: Vind, Karl
Title: Figure 4 Lecture at Festkolloquium for Gérard Debreu
Abstract: This Festkolloquium for Gérard Debreu was organized somewhat informally. At one point it was suggested that one speaker should talk about results related to the general (equilibrium) importance of Gérard Debreu, another about the unique importance, a third about the real importance, and even a forth about the marginal importance. Finally it was of course decided that the speakers could choose their own subjects. I took up the idea from the third suggestion. The title of my lecture could have been "What is the real importance of G&eaute;rard Debreu?" It could have been "Where did the real numbers come from?", but as mathematical economists we should prefer answers to questions, and the answer to the two questions is "Figure 4".The "Figure 4" I am talking about is Figure 4 in "Topological methods in cardinal utility theory" (1960). It obviously only requires knowledge of the natural numbers to realize that Figure 4 could not be the only contribution of Gérard Debreu, but I hope to show that Figure 4 and its importance illustrates very neatly the real importance of Gérard Debreu for economics.
Creation-Date: July 1991
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