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Antoine Augustin COURNOT

Antoine Augustin COURNOT, French economist.


  • COURNOT, Antoine Augustin was born in 1801 in Gray, Haute-Saône, France.

  • Education

    • Licentiate Sciences, Paris, 1823. Doctor of Science, 1829.


    • Beginning as a mathematician, he applied mathematics first to economic questions and then to a general philosophy of the world. His theory of markets and prices and his ‘law of demand’ in Recherches.. is so devised as to be empirically testable, and is hence a genuine contribution to econometrics. By retaining the element of uncertainty in his argument, he avoided the pitfall of seeming to give economics too great a precision by its expression in mathematical terms.

      His theory of markets was revolutionary in that it began with the consideration of monopoly and moved by successive stages through duopoly and oligopoly to perfect competition. In this, and numerous other features, his work could only be truly appreciated long after his death. Literary Adviser, Tutor, household of Marshall St-Cyr, 1823-1833.

      Professor Mathematics, University Lyons, 1834-1835. Admin, posts, Académie de Grenoble, 1835, University and Académie Dijon, 1854-1862.
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    Died 1876
    (aged 75)