Dissertation Abstract: Decision-Theoretic Models of Market Equilibration
There has been a surprising dearth of decision-theoretic approaches to market equilibration within the extended Arrow-Debreu-McKenzie framework. While game theory is replete with learning and evolutionary models in which Nash equilibria are not necessarily the only stable states of a game, general equilibrium theorists have generally been content to accept the attainment of competitive equilibrium as a matter of faith. The first two chapters of this dissertation advance the study of behaviorally plausible models of market equilibration. First, we develop the epsilon-intelligent competitive equilibrium algorithm. According to this model, the actions of minimally sophisticated agents based on local information will lead an exchange economy to approximate competitive equilibrium in a larger set of economics than Walrasâ€™ tatonnement. The algorithm also supports a behavioral interpretation of Negishiâ€™s existence proof of competitive equilibrium. The second chapter is an empirical analysis of laboratory markets designed to test the extent to which human behavior is consistent with the algorithmâ€™s behavioral restrictions, and suggest alternative hypotheses. The chief finding is that while subjects sufficiently sophisticated to consistently secure competitive utility for themselves exist, the majority are satisficers who follow small modifications of a simple utility-improvement rule. While general equilibrium theory has lacked a behaviorally plausible foundation of price equilibration, behavioral economic models typically ignore general equilibrium implications. In the third chapter of this dissertation, I present the surprising result that loss aversion and diminishing sensitivity for gains imply a greater redistribution of endowments than when otherwise identical preferences are reference-independent. The result is surprising because loss aversion was developed in part to account for the status quo bias, whereby people tend to value a good more when it is in their possession than when it is not. One might reasonably suspect trade to be inhibited by this bias. The counter-intuitive result is driven by the fact that, given the axiomatization of loss aversion and diminishing sensitivity for gains, the acquisition of some quantity of a good increases oneâ€™s taste for that good, thus perpetuating a taste for more trade. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:169-169. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.