Gerard Debreu

About Gerard Debreu

Who is it?: Economist
Birth Day: July 04, 1921
Birth Place: Calais, American
Died On: 31 December 2004(2004-12-31) (aged 83)\nParis, France
Birth Sign: Leo
Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Field: Mathematical economics
School or tradition: Walrasian economics
Alma mater: École Normale Supérieure University of Paris
Doctoral students: Graciela Chichilnisky Beth E. Allen Xavier Vives
Influences: Léon Walras Henri Cartan Maurice Allais
Contributions: General equilibrium utility theory topological methods integration of set-valued correspondences
Awards: Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (1983)

Gerard Debreu Net Worth

Gerard Debreu was bornon July 04, 1921 in Calais, American, is Economist. Gerard Debreu was a French-born American economist well-known for several contributions, the major one being his bringing a mathematical precision to economics in theories like that of supply and demand. For his outstanding work in the field of economics, especially in the field of general equilibrium, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in 1983. Debreu served for most of his career at the University of Yale and at the University of California. He was a recipient of numerous awards, having being made an officer of the French Legion of Honor in 1976, as well as having being elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1977. He also had a keen interest in politics as well as human rights. He is remembered for his gracious, polite and humble nature as well. In the later part of his life, his studies were mainly centered on the theory of differentiable economies. He struggled to show that, in general, aggregate excess demand functions vanish at a finite number of points. In other words, his works prove how economies have a finite number of price equilibria.
Gerard Debreu is a member of Intellectuals & Academics

💰 Net worth: Under Review

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Biography/Timeline

1941

His father was the Business partner of his maternal grandfather in lace Manufacturing, a traditional industry in Calais. Debreu was orphaned at an early age, as his father committed suicide and his mother died of natural causes. Prior to the start of World War II, he received his baccalauréat and went to Ambert to begin preparing for the entrance examination of a grande école. Later on, he moved from Ambert to Grenoble to complete his preparation, both places being in Vichy France during World War II. In 1941, he was admitted to the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, along with Marcel Boiteux (fr). He was influenced by Henri Cartan and the Bourbaki Writers. When he was about to take the final examinations in 1944, the Normandy landings occurred and he, instead, enlisted in the French army. He was transferred for training to Algeria and then served in the occupying French forces in Germany until July 1945. Debreu passed the Agrégation de Mathématiques exams at the end of 1945 and the beginning of 1946. By this time, he had become interested in economics, particularly in the general equilibrium theory of Léon Walras. From 1946 to 1948, he was an assistant in the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. During these two and a half years, he made the transition from mathematics to economics. In 1948, Debreu went to the United States on a Rockefeller Fellowship which allowed him to visit several American universities, as well as those in Uppsala and Oslo in 1949–50.

1946

Debreu married Françoise Bled in 1946 and they had two daughters, Chantal and Florence, born in 1946 and 1950 respectively.

1950

Debreu began working as a Research Associate and joined the Cowles Commission at the University of Chicago in the summer of 1950. He remained there for five years, returning to Paris periodically.

1954

In 1954, he published a breakthrough paper, entitled Existence of an Equilibrium for a Competitive Economy, together with Kenneth Arrow, in which they provided a definitive mathematical proof of the existence of a general equilibrium, using topological rather than calculus-based methods.

1959

In 1959, he published his classical monograph, Theory of Value: An Axiomatic Analysis of Economic Equilibrium (Cowles Foundation Monographs Series), which is one of the most important works in mathematical economics. He also studied several problems in the theory of cardinal utility, in particular the additive decomposition of a utility function defined on a Cartesian product of sets.

1960

During his sabbaticals in the late 1960s and 1970s, he visited universities in Leiden, Cambridge, Bonn and Paris.

1962

In January 1962, he started working at the University of California, Berkeley, where he held the titles of University Professor and Class of 1958 Professor of Economics and Mathematics Emeritus.

1976

In 1976, he received the French Legion of Honour. He was awarded the 1983 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, for having incorporated new analytical methods into economic theory and for his rigorous reformulation of general equilibrium theory. He was a member of the International Academy of Science.

1990

In 1990, he served as President of the American Economic Association.

2004

Debreu died in Paris at the age of 83 of natural causes on New Year's Eve, 2004.

2013

His later studies centred mainly on the theory of differentiable economies, where he showed that, in general, aggregate excess demand functions vanish at a finite number of points – basically, he showed that economies have a finite number of price equilibria.