A prominent Walrasian theorist, his various contributions to economics are dominated by one shattering result: the Debreu-Sonnenschein-Mantel Theorem. First explored by Sonnenschein in two papers (1972, 1973) and then followed up by similar papers by Debreu (1972) and Mantel (1974), the DSM Theorem claims that market demand functions, upon which all the "intuitive" results of market-level and macro-level economics rest, are essentially shapeless. It essentially destroyed the "microfoundations" project of economic theory, i.e. to describe demand and supply as a result of the decentralized utility-maximizing agents. The DSM theorem provides the following result: even if everybody has nicely-shaped individual demand functions, we cannot say that the market demand function will possess a nice shape too. Thus, the efforts that have been made in the last century to describe demand as a result of utility-maximization are essentially wasted - for the desired result
Hugo Sonenschein obtained his B.A. at Rochester in 1961 and his Ph.D.
from Purdue in 1964. He was subsequently professor at the University of
Minnesota, then from 1970 at Massachusetts-Amherst, then Northwestern
from 1973, then Princeton from 1976.
In 1988, Sonnenschein became dean at the University of Pennsylvania, returning to Princeton in 1991 , then moving to Chicago in 1993. Sonnenschein was President of the University of Chicago from 1993 to 2000, where continues as professor.
Major Works of Hugo Sonnenschein
Resources on Hugo Sonnenschein
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