General equilibrium
General equilibrium theory is a branch of theoretical economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

. It seeks to explain the behavior of supply, demand and prices in a whole economy with several or many interacting markets, by seeking to prove that a set of prices exists that will result in an overall equilibrium, hence general equilibrium, in contrast to partial equilibrium
Partial equilibrium
Partial equilibrium is a condition of economic equilibrium which takes into consideration only a part of the market, ceteris paribus, to attain equilibrium....

, which only analyzes single markets. As with all models, this is an abstraction from a real economy; it is proposed as being a useful model, both by considering equilibrium prices as long-term prices and by considering actual prices as deviations from equilibrium.

General equilibrium theory both studies economies using the model of equilibrium pricing and seeks to determine in which circumstances the assumptions of general equilibrium will hold.