Variations on the Theme of Scarf's Counter-Example
AbstractIn this paper we study the relationship between the stability of a competitive equilibrium (CE) and the price adjustment mechanism used to attain that equilibrium point. Using two specific examples, a three- commodity exchange economy with a unique competitive equilibrium (Scarf's global instability example) and a two-commodity, two-trader type exchange economy with multiple competitive equilibria, we show that the stability of a CE depends critically upon the dynamics of the price adjustment mechanism. A particular CE may be unstable under one price adjustment mechanism but stable under another. The joint dynamics of the chosen price adjustment mechanism and the given economy determines the overall stability of its competitive equilibrium. Our results suggest that context-rich studies of economic systems which focus on a specific price adjustment mechanism may provide insights into the dynamics and stability of economic systems that are often not revealed through a context-independent analysis.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Santa Fe Institute in its series Working Papers with number 01-12-074.
Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Scarf's counter-example; price adjustment mechanism; feedback controller; multiple competitive equilibria; stability;
Other versions of this item:
- Alok Kumar & Martin Shubik, 2004. "Variations on the Theme of Scarf's Counter-Example," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 1-19, 08.
- NEP-ALL-2002-03-14 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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