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The Emergence of a Price System from Decentralized Bilateral Exchange

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  • Gintis Herbert

    () (Santa Fe Institute)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the dynamics of completely decentralized bilateral exchange. In such a framework, neither money nor prices as public information exist. Rather, prices represent an agent's barter strategy, and hence are private information. We call these private prices. Agents formulate trade offers and accept or reject offers from other traders, on the basis of their private prices. Private prices are updated by low-scoring agents periodically imitating the strategies of higher-scoring agents. We show that a system of quasi-public prices emerges in the medium run, and these quasi-public prices converge to stationary distributions that are approximately competitive equilibria of the underlying Walrasian model in the long run. We thus provide, for the first time, a general, decentralized disequilibrium adjustment mechanism that renders market equilibrium dynamically stable in a highly simplified production and exchange economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Gintis Herbert, 2006. "The Emergence of a Price System from Decentralized Bilateral Exchange," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-15, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejtec:v:contributions.6:y:2006:i:1:n:13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ghosal, Sayantan & Porter, James, 2010. "Out of Equilibrium Dynamics with Decentralized Exchange Cautious Trading and Convergence to Efficiency," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 928, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Chen, Shu-Heng, 2012. "Varieties of agents in agent-based computational economics: A historical and an interdisciplinary perspective," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25.
    3. Gerard Ballot & Antoine Mandel & Annick Vignes, 2015. "Agent-based modeling and economic theory: where do we stand?," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, pages 199-220.
    4. Athreya, Kartik B., 2014. "Big Ideas in Macroeconomics: A Nontechnical View," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262019736, January.
    5. repec:bpj:bejtec:v:17:y:2017:i:2:p:12:n:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Flåm, Sjur Didrik & Gramstad, Kjetil, 2012. "Direct Exchange in Linear Economies," Working Papers in Economics 05/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    7. Ghosal, Sayantan & Porter, James, 2013. "Decentralised exchange, out-of-equilibrium dynamics and convergence to efficiency," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-21.
    8. Flåm, S.D. & Godal, O., 2008. "Market clearing and price formation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 956-977, March.
    9. Sjur Didrik Flåm, 2013. "Reaching Market Equilibrium Merely by Bilateral Barters," CESifo Working Paper Series 4504, CESifo Group Munich.

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