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Non-Self-Averaging in Macroeconomic Models: A Criticism of Modern Micro-founded Macroeconomics

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  • AOKI Masanao
  • YOSHIKAWA Hiroshi

Abstract

Using a simple stochastic growth model, this paper demonstrates that the coefficient of variation of aggregate output or GDP does not necessarily go to zero even if the number of sectors or economic agents goes to infinity. This phenomenon known as non-self-averaging implies that even if the number of economic agents is large, dispersion can remain significant, and, therefore, that we can not legitimately focus on the means of aggregate variables. It, in turn, means that the standard microeconomic foundations based on the representative agent has little value for they are expected to provide us with dynamics of the means of aggregate variables. The paper also shows that non-self-averaging emerges in some representative urn models. It suggests that non-self-averaging is not pathological but quite generic. Thus, contrary to the main stream view, micro-founded macroeconomics such as a dynamic general equilibrium model does not provide solid micro foundations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in its series Discussion papers with number 07057.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eti:dpaper:07057

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  1. Winter, S. G. & Kaniovski, Y. M. & Dosi, G., 2000. "Modeling industrial dynamics with innovative entrants," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 255-293, September.
  2. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-51, March.
  4. Aoki, Masanao, 2008. "Thermodynamic limits of macroeconomic or financial models: One- and two-parameter Poisson-Dirichlet models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 66-84, January.
  5. Plosser, C.I., 1989. "Understanding Real Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 198, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Aoki, Masanao, 2002. "Open models of share markets with two dominant types of participants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 199-216, October.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  10. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  12. Devroye, Luc, 1993. "A triptych of discrete distributions related to the stable law," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 349-351, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Da Silva, Sergio, 2009. "Does Macroeconomics Need Microeconomic Foundations?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 3(23), pages 1-11.
  2. Yuji Aruka & Eizo Akiyama, 2009. "Non-self-averaging of a two-person game with only positive spillover: a new formulation of Avatamsaka’s dilemma," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 135-161, November.
  3. Wright, Ian, 2009. "Implicit Microfoundations for Macroeconomics," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 3(19), pages 1-27.
  4. Masanao Aoki, 2008. "Dispersion of growth paths of macroeconomic models in thermodynamic limits: two-parameter Poisson–Dirichlet models," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 3-13, June.
  5. Aoki, Masanao & Yoshikawa, Hiroshi, 2008. "The Nature of Equilibrium in Macroeconomics: A Critique of Equilibrium Search Theory," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-37, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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