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Knightian Uncertainty and Poverty Trap in a Model of Economic Growth

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  • Shin-ichi Fukuda

    (University of Tokyo)

Abstract

This paper explores how Knightian uncertainty affects dynamic properties in an economic growth model. The decision-making theory employed in the analysis is the theory of expected utility under a non-additive probability measure, i.e., the Choquet expected utility model of preference. We apply this decision-making theory to an overlapping generations model where producers face "uncertainty" in their technologies. When the producer is averse to uncertainty, the firm's profit function may not be differentiable. Therefore, the firm's decision to invest and hire labor becomes rigid for a certain measurable range of real interest rates. In dynamic equilibrium, the existence of firm-level rigidity causes discontinuity in the wage function; this makes multiple equilibria the more likely outcomes under the log utility and Cobb-Douglass production functions. In this paper, we show that even if aversion to uncertainty is small, the "poverty trap" can arise for a wide range of parameter values. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Shin-ichi Fukuda, 2008. "Knightian Uncertainty and Poverty Trap in a Model of Economic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 652-663, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:04-95
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2007.11.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shin-Ichi Fukuda, 2012. "Infrequent Changes Of The Policy Target: Robust Optimal Monetary Policy Under Ambiguity," Global Journal of Economics (GJE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 1-27.
    2. Eisei Ohtaki & Hiroyuki Ozaki, 2015. "Monetary equilibria and Knightian uncertainty," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 59(3), pages 435-459, August.
    3. Eisei Ohtaki, "undated". "Optimality of the Friedman rule under ambiguity," Working Papers e103, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knightian uncertainty; Poverty trap; Multiple equilibria;

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity

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