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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. S.G. Winter & Y.M. Kaniovski & G. Dosi, 1998. "Modeling Industrial Dynamics with Innovative Entrants," Working Papers ir98022, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
  2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  3. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1990. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," DELTA Working Papers 90-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  4. Masanao Aoki, . "Thermodynamic Limits of Macroeconomic or Financial Models: One- and Two-Parameter Poisson-Dirichlet Models," UCLA Economics Online Papers 391, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Plosser, Charles I, 1989. "Understanding Real Business Cycles," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 51-77, Summer.
  9. 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.
  10. Devroye, Luc, 1993. "A triptych of discrete distributions related to the stable law," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 349-351, December.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  12. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Wright, Ian, 2008. "Implicit Microfoundations for Macroeconomics," Economics Discussion Papers 2008-41, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  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. 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.
  4. Aoki, Masanao & Yoshikawa, Hiroshi, 2009. "The nature of equilibrium in macroeconomics: a critique of equilibrium search theory," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 3(37), pages 1-9.
  5. 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.

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