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General Equilibrium with Asymmetric Information: A Dual Approach

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  • Belen Jerez

    (Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

We study markets where the characteristics or decisions of certain agents are relevant but not known to their trading partners. Assuming exclusive transactions, the environment is described as a continuum economy with indivisible commodities. We characterize incentive constrained efficient allocations as solutions to linear programming problems and appeal to duality theory to demonstrate the generic existence of external effects in these markets. Because under certain conditions such effects may generate non-convexities, randomization emerges as a theoretic possibility. In characterizing market equilibria we show that, consistently with the personalized nature of transactions, prices are generally non-linear in the underlying consumption. On the other hand, external effects may have critical implications for market efficiency. With adverse selection, in fact, cross-subsidization across agents with different private information may be necessary for optimality, and so, the market need not even achieve an incentive constrained efficient allocation. In contrast, in the case of a single (type of) commodity, we find that when informational asymmetries arise after the trading period (e.g. moral hazard; ex post hidden types) external effects are fully internalized at a market equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers with number 1497.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1497

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  1. Karl Shell & Randall Wright, 1991. "Indivisibilities, lotteries, and sunspot equilibria," Staff Report 133, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Garratt, Rod & Keister, Todd & Qin, Cheng-Zhong & Shell, Karl, 2002. "Equilibrium Prices When the Sunspot Variable Is Continuous," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(1), pages 11-38, November.
  3. Michael Magill, 2000. "Equity, Options and Efficiency in the Presence of Moral Hazard," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1845, Econometric Society.
  4. A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper & K. Kortanek, 1965. "On Representations of Semi-Infinite Programs which Have No Duality Gaps," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(1), pages 113-121, September.
  5. Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 21-45, January.
  6. Richard Arnott & Joseph E Stiglitz, 2010. "Randomization with Asymmetric Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2054, David K. Levine.
  7. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 1998. "Competitive Equilibria with Asymmetric Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2062, David K. Levine.
  8. Arnott, Richard & Greenwald, Bruce & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1994. "Information and economic efficiency," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 77-82, March.
  9. Douglas Gale, 1996. "Equilibria and Pareto optima of markets with adverse selection (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 207-235.
  10. Wilson, Charles, 1977. "A model of insurance markets with incomplete information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 167-207, December.
  11. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-64, May.
  12. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  13. Sun, Yeneng, 1998. "A theory of hyperfinite processes: the complete removal of individual uncertainty via exact LLN1," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 419-503, May.
  14. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  15. Edward C Prescott & Robert M Townsend, 1997. "General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1578, David K. Levine.
  16. Alejandro M. Manelli & Daniel R. Vincent, 1992. "Optimal Procurement Mechanisms," Discussion Papers 999, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  17. Makowski, Louis, 1979. "Value theory with personalized trading," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 194-212, April.
  18. 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.
  19. Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1975. "A model of equilibrium with differentiated commodities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 263-295.
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Cited by:
  1. Belen Jerez, 2005. "Incentive Compatibility and Pricing under Moral Hazard," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 28-47, January.
  2. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2000. "Decentralizing Incentive Efficient Allocations of Economies with Adverse Selection," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0855, Econometric Society.
  3. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2005. "Efficient Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 1504, CESifo Group Munich.

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