chapter  12
Lexicographic orderings
Pages 14

The questions of the pervasiveness of equilibrium and maximization are fundamental and thus little of neoclassical literature seems willing or able to critically examine these fundamental ideas. This does not mean that neoclassical writers do not venture criticisms. There are many critiques but they are almost always about technical modelling questions such as what way to formally represent the consumer’s utility function. As I noted in Chapter 1, the question of whether to assume a consumer is a maximizer is never put into question, only the assumptions about the nature of the function. I now turn to an examination of some of the technical disputes surrounding neoclassical theory to see if they are worth while criticizing. In the next three chapters I will examine key ideas employed in neoclassical demand theory that have acquired a status that puts them beyond criticism even though that status is unwarranted.