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The Paradoxical Fate of the Representative Firm

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  • Frank Schohl
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    Abstract

    While modern theorising on the microfoundation of macroeconomics makes intense use of the representative firm notion, severe objections have been raised. Regarded from the history of thought this is the second time that its usefulness is called into question. The paper presents an old literature which has ended with the abandonment of the representative firm from competition theory because it neglects the innovation issue. It shows that its subsequent adoption to macroeconomics suffers from similar flaws. It follows that the representative firm is inappropriate for the analysis of modern competitive economies and should be withdrawn from macroeconomics as well.

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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-jena.de/Papers/wp-b9803.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultïät in its series Working Paper Series B with number 1998-03.

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    Date of creation: 10 Feb 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:jen:jenavo:1998-03

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    Related research

    Keywords: microfoundation; representative agent; aggregation; innovation; competition; Marshall; Schumpeter;

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    1. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
    2. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
    3. Maarten C. W. Janssen, 1991. "What Is This Thing Called Microfoundations?," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 687-712, Winter.
    4. Janssen, Maarten C.W., 1991. "The alleged necessity of microfoundations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 619-639.
    5. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
    6. Alan P. Kirman, 1992. "Whom or What Does the Representative Individual Represent?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
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