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Information and Economic Efficiency

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  • Richard Arnott
  • Bruce Greenwald
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz

Abstract

Is an economy with adverse selection, moral hazard, or an incomplete set of risk markets "constrained" Pareto efficient? There are two sets of papers addressing this question, one asserting that, under seemingly quite general conditions, the economy is constrained Pareto efficient, the other (to which we have contributed) that it is not. In this paper, we delineate the differences in assumptions between the two sets of papers, and under our assumptions present an intuitive proof of the Pareto inefficiency of market equilibrium with moral hazard and identify what it is that the government can do that the market cannot.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4533.

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Date of creation: Nov 1993
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Publication status: published as Information Economics and Policy Vol. 6 (1994), pp. 77-88
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4533

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  1. Geanakoplos, J. & Magill, M. & Quinzii, M. & Dreze, J., 1990. "Generic inefficiency of stock market equilibrium when markets are incomplete," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 113-151.
  2. Shavell, Steven, 1979. "On Moral Hazard and Insurance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 541-62, November.
  3. Arnott, Richard J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Labor Turnover, Wage Structures, and Moral Hazard: The Inefficiency of Competitive Markets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 434-62, October.
  4. 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.
  5. Newbery, David M G & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "The Choice of Techniques and the Optimality of Market Equilibrium with Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(2), pages 223-46, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Grossman, Sanford J., 1977. "A characterization of the optimality of equilibrium in incomplete markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, June.
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