Talk:Antoine Augustin Cournot

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Untitled[edit]

This biography is not very precise. Cournot is not credited with the "one monopoly profit" theorem, which is only a later derivation and his main achievements are not even cited in the article. Finally it is absolutely false that "Today, Cournot’s work is recognized in econometrics"!

While I am not well versed in Cournot's biography, I doubt that his doctoral work was in mechanics and astrology.

"Not very precise" is an understatement. There is a lot here that doesn't belong in AAC's biography. I think I read somewhere that his doctoral work was in astronomy, not astrology of course. I have put revision of this article on my to-do list. Have 6 or 7 sources in en and fr to use. Hopefully get this one done in the Easter weekend. Some of the existing text will have to go, I'm afraid. I already apologise to anyone who might feel that I hurt his/her feelings.... All comments and suggestions of course very welcome to build a better article. I am sure we all agree AAC deserves. Robertsch55 13:32, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I am now in the process of editing the article. New text from reliable sources will appear in the coming days. The fragment I took out (see above) is saved here, in case the "one monopoly profit" theorem would be worked into a separate article

Cournot is credited with the "one monopoly profit" theorem, which says that a monopolist can extract only one premium for being a monopolist, and getting into complementary markets does not pay. That is, the total profits a monopolist could earn if it sought to leverage its monopoly in one market by monopolizing an adjacent market are equal to the extra profits it could earn anyway by charging more for the monopoly product itself. An exception occurs when the monopolist's market is price-regulated (Baxter's Law).[1]

As I promised I also leave the part of the deleted text that is not taken up in the extended version here:
Cournot was mainly a mathematician, but did have some influence over economics. His theories on monopolies and duopolies are still famous. In 1838 the book Researches on the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth was published, in which he used the application of the formulas and symbols of mathematics in economic analysis. This book was highly criticized and not very successful during Cournot’s lifetime, and he did try to rewrite it twice, but it still has influence in economics today. Today many economists believe this book to be the point of departure for modern economic analysis. Cournot introduced the ideas of functions and probability into economic analysis. He derived the first formula for the rule of supply and demand as a function of price and in fact was the first to draw supply and demand curves on a graph, anticipating the work of Alfred Marshall by roughly thirty years.
Cournot believed that economists must utilize the tools of mathematics only to establish probable limits and to express less stable facts in more absolute terms. He further held that the practical uses of mathematics in economics do not necessarily involve strict numerical precision.


He was also a teacher of political economy and mathematics to Auguste Walras, who was the father of Leon Walras. Cournot and Auguste Walras persuaded Leon Walras to try political economics. Cournot is also credited to be one of the sources of inspiration for Leon Walras and his equilibrium theory.

While Cournot knew Auguste Walras he was not his teacher (they were the same age) and he actually teached math during a very short time. He never(repeat NEVER) taught economics (or , as far as we Known, even discussed it). I also find btw that the "one monopoly profit" theorem is not clearly linked to him.

By the time Cournot died in 1877, he was nearly blind.
In the field of economics he is best known for his work in the field of oligopoly theory - Cournot competition


Today, Cournot’s work is recognized in econometrics.
All comments and help welcome as always, Robertsch55 17:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

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This article was automatically assessed because at least one article was rated and this bot brought all the other ratings up to at least that level. BetacommandBot 02:19, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Jonathan E. Nuechterlein & Philip J. Weiser, “Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age” (MIT Press, 2005) (discussing the one monopoly profit theorem in the context of telecommunications regulation).