Le Chatelier Principle

Discipline: Economics

Named after French chemist Henry Le Chatelier (1850-1936) by American economist Paul Samuelson (1915- ), Le Chatelier principle deals with constraints on maximizing behavior, explaining that short-run demands have lower elasticity than those in the long run since a longer time frame allows new factors and prices to change.

(Le Chatelier had earlier formulated a reaction law governing the effects on equilibrium of pressure and temperature.)

P Samuelson, Foundations of Economic Analysis (Cambridge, Mass., 1947)


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