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Efficient Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection

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  • Alberto Bisin
  • Piero Gottardi

Abstract

Do Walrasian markets function orderly in the presence of adverse selection? In particular, is their outcome efficient when exclusive contracts are enforceable? This paper addresses these questions in the context of a Rothschild-Stiglitz insurance economy. We identify an externality associated with the presence of adverse selection as a special form of consumption externality. Consequently, we show that competitive equilibria always exist but are not typically incentive efficient. However, as markets for pollution rights can internalize environmental externalities, markets for consumption rights can be designed to internalize the consumption externality due to adverse selection. With such markets competitive equilibria exist and incentive-constrained versions of the first and second welfare theorems hold.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 114 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 485-516

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:114:y:2006:i:3:p:485-516

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  1. John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott & Bruce D. Smith, 1988. "Organizations in economic analysis," Working Papers 385, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  3. Bennardo, Alberto & Chiappori, Pierre-André, 2002. "Bertrand and Walras Equilibria Under Moral Hazard," CEPR Discussion Papers 3650, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Bisin, Alberto & Gottardi, Piero, 1999. "Competitive Equilibria with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 1-48, July.
  8. Douglas Gale, 1994. "Equilibria and Pareto Optima of Markets with Adverse Selection," Papers 0046, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  9. John Ledyard & Kristin Szakaly-Moore, 1993. "Designing Organizations for Trading Pollution Rights," Experimental 9307001, EconWPA, revised 28 Jul 1993.
  10. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Edward Prescott, 2000. "Lotteries, Sunspots and Incentive Constraints," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1974, David K. Levine.
  11. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2005. "Efficient Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 1504, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Belen Jerez, 2000. "General Equilibrium with Asymmetric Information: A Dual Approach," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1497, Econometric Society.
  13. Crocker, Keith J. & Snow, Arthur, 1985. "The efficiency of competitive equilibria in insurance markets with asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 207-219, March.
  14. Hellwig, Martin, 1987. "Some recent developments in the theory of competition in markets with adverse selection ," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 319-325.
  15. Gale, Douglas, 1992. "A Walrasian Theory of Markets with Adverse Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 229-55, April.
  16. Pradeep Dubey & John Geanakoplos & Martin Shubik, 1988. "Default and Efficiency in a General Equilibrium Model with Incomplete Markets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 879R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 1989.
  17. V.V. Chari & Larry E. Jones, 2000. "A reconsideration of the problem of social cost: Free riders and monopolists," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-22.
  18. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship with an Informed Principal, II: Common Values," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, January.
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