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Efficiency and Equilibrium when Preferences are Time-Inconsistent

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  • Erzo G J Luttmer
  • Thomas Mariotti

Abstract

We consider an exchange economy with time-inconsistent consumers whose preferences are additively separable. When these consumers trade in a sequence of markets, their time-inconsistency may introduce a non-convexity that gives them an incentive to trade lotteries. If there are many consumers, competitive equilibria with and without lotteries exist. The existence of symmetric equilibria may require lotteries. Symmetric equilibria that do not require lotteries are generically locally unique. Allocations that are Pareto efficient at the initial date are also renegotiation-proof. Competitive equilibria are Pareto efficient in this sense, and for generic endowments, if and only if preferences are locally homothetic. For non-homothetic preferences, the introduction of lottery markets has an ambiguous impact on the equilibrium welfare of consumers at the initial date.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series with number 446.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:446

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Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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Keywords: Dynamic inconsistency; competitive equilibrium; lotteries; generic inefficiency.;

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  1. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "The Inefficiency of the Stock Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 241-61, April.
  3. Christopher Harris & David Laibson, 1999. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1886, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Erzo G J Luttmer & Thomas Mariotti, 2003. "Efficiency and Equilibrium when Preferences are Time-Inconsistent," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 446, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson In The Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152, November.
  6. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  7. Peleg, Bezalel & Yaari, Menahem E, 1973. "On the Existence of a Consistent Course of Action when Tastes are Changing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 391-401, July.
  8. Erzo G. J. Luttmer & Thomas Mariotti, 2003. "Subjective Discounting in an Exchange Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 959-989, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Luttmer, Erzo G.J. & Mariotti, Thomas, 2007. "Efficiency and equilibrium when preferences are time-inconsistent," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 493-506, January.
  2. Gabrieli, Tommaso & Ghosal, Sayantan, 2009. "Non-Existence of Competitive Equilibria with Dynamically Inconsistent Preferences," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 900, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Kihlstrom, Richard, 2009. "Risk aversion and the elasticity of substitution in general dynamic portfolio theory: Consistent planning by forward looking, expected utility maximizing investors," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(9-10), pages 634-663, September.
  4. Ambec, Stefan & Treich, Nicolas, 2007. "Roscas as financial agreements to cope with self-control problems," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 120-137, January.

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