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Knightian Uncertainty and Poverty Trap in a Model of Economic Growth

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  • Shin-ichi Fukuda

    (University of Tokyo)

Abstract

This paper explores how Knightian uncertainty affects dynamic properties in an economic growth model. The decision-making theory employed in the analysis is the theory of expected utility under a non-additive probability measure, i.e., the Choquet expected utility model of preference. We apply this decision-making theory to an overlapping generations model where producers face "uncertainty" in their technologies. When the producer is averse to uncertainty, the firm's profit function may not be differentiable. Therefore, the firm's decision to invest and hire labor becomes rigid for a certain measurable range of real interest rates. In dynamic equilibrium, the existence of firm-level rigidity causes discontinuity in the wage function; this makes multiple equilibria the more likely outcomes under the log utility and Cobb-Douglass production functions. In this paper, we show that even if aversion to uncertainty is small, the "poverty trap" can arise for a wide range of parameter values. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2007.11.001
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 11 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 652-663

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:04-95

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Keywords: Knightian uncertainty; Poverty trap; Multiple equilibria;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shin-ichi Fukuda, 2012. "Infrequent Changes of the Policy Target: Robust Optimal Monetary Policy under Ambiguity," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-863, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Shin-ichi Fukuda, 2012. "Infrequent Changes of the Policy Target: Robust Optimal Monetary Policy under Ambiguity," CARF F-Series CARF-F-295, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  3. Eisei Ohtaki & Hiroyuki Ozaki, 2013. "Monetary Equilibria and Knightian Uncertainty," Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Discussion Paper Series 2012-032, Keio/Kyoto Joint Global COE Program.

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