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Learning competitive equilibrium


  • Crockett, Sean
  • Spear, Stephen
  • Sunder, Shyam


We consider a pure exchange economy repeated from a fixed endowment for an indefinite number of periods and posit a learning rule which directs convergence to competitive equilibrium. In each period trade converges to an allocation in the contract set, where agents interpret the current (common) normalized utility gradient as a vector of prices to determine the implied wealth redistribution relative to their endowments. Agents who are less wealthy at the new allocation are designated subsidizers, and demand to provide smaller subsidies in subsequent periods of economic activity. Our model is a globally stable alternative to Walras' tâtonnement.

Suggested Citation

  • Crockett, Sean & Spear, Stephen & Sunder, Shyam, 2008. "Learning competitive equilibrium," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(7-8), pages 651-671, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:mateco:v:44:y:2008:i:7-8:p:651-671

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arlington W. Williams & John O. Ledyard & Steven Gjerstad & Vernon L. Smith, 2000. "Concurrent trading in two experimental markets with demand interdependence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 16(3), pages 511-528.
    2. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
    3. Anderson, Christopher M. & Plott, Charles R. & Shimomura, K.-I.Ken-Ichi & Granat, Sander, 2004. "Global instability in experimental general equilibrium: the Scarf example," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 209-249, April.
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    5. Sean Crockett, 2008. "Learning competitive equilibrium in laboratory exchange economies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(1), pages 157-180, January.
    6. Vernon L. Smith, 1962. "An Experimental Study of Competitive Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 322-322.
    7. Allan M. Feldman, 1973. "Bilateral Trading Processes, Pairwise Optimally, and Pareto Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 40(4), pages 463-473.
    8. Kirman, Alan, 1989. "The Intrinsic Limits of Modern Economic Theory: The Emperor Has No Clothes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 126-139, Supplemen.
    9. Charles N. Noussair & Charles R. Plott & Raymond G. Riezman, 2013. "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 17, pages 299-328 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    10. Gode, Dhananjay K & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero-Intelligence Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 119-137, February.
    11. Hirota, Masayoshi, 1981. "On the Stability of Competitive Equilibrium and the Patterns of Initial Holdings: An Example," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 461-467, June.
    12. Smale, S., 1974. "Global analysis and economics III : Pareto Optima and price equilibria," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 107-117, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Marc Bonnisseau & Orntangar Nguenamadji, 2013. "Discrete Walrasian exchange process," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(3), pages 1091-1100, April.
    2. Sean Crockett, 2013. "Price Dynamics In General Equilibrium Experiments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 421-438, July.
    3. Duffy, John, 2006. "Agent-Based Models and Human Subject Experiments," Handbook of Computational Economics,in: Leigh Tesfatsion & Kenneth L. Judd (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 949-1011 Elsevier.
    4. Goeree, Jacob K. & Lindsay, Luke, 2016. "Market design and the stability of general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 37-68.
    5. Jacob K. Goeree & Luke Lindsay, 2012. "Stabilizing the economy: Market design and general equilibrium," ECON - Working Papers 092, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. Paola Tubaro, 2009. "Agent-based Computational Economics: a Methodological Appraisal," EconomiX Working Papers 2009-42, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    7. Marco LiCalzi & Lucia Milone & Paolo Pellizzari, 2008. "Allocative efficiency and traders' protection under zero intelligence behavior," Working Papers 168, Department of Applied Mathematics, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, revised Nov 2009.

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