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Indeterminacy in Incomplete Market Economies


  • Mas-Colell, Andreu


It is shown that in a two-period economy with a continuum of states and real assets, the following holds: (1) if the asset structure is complete, then equilibria is finite; (2) if there are a finite number of real assets (this can approximate completeness arbitrarily close) then, for a non-empty open set of economies, there are a continuum of distinct equilibria. Asymptotic versions (on the number of states and on the number of assets) of the result are also given. It is argued, therefore, that incompleteness, by itself, may be a leading source of indeterminacy.

Suggested Citation

  • Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1991. "Indeterminacy in Incomplete Market Economies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 1(1), pages 45-61, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:1:y:1991:i:1:p:45-61

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dechert, W. Davis & Nishimura, Kazuo, 1983. "A complete characterization of optimal growth paths in an aggregated model with a non-concave production function," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 332-354, December.
    2. Mukul Majumdar & Manfred Nermuth, 1982. "Dynamic Optimization in Non-Convex Models with Irreversible Investment: Monotonicity and Turnpike Results (Now published in Zeitschrift für National-Ökonomie (Journal of National Economics), vol.42, N," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 40, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    3. Nishimura, Kazuo & Yano, Makoto, 1995. "Durable capital and chaos in competitive business cycles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 165-181, July.
    4. W. A. Brock, 1970. "On Existence of Weakly Maximal Programmes in a Multi-Sector Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 275-280.
    5. M. Ali Khan & Tapan Mitra, 2007. "Optimal Growth In A Two-Sector Rss Model Without Discounting: A Geometric Investigation," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 58(2), pages 191-225.
    6. Lionel W. McKenzie, 2005. "Classical General Equilibrium Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633302, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Covarrubias, Enrique, 2013. "The number of equilibria of smooth infinite economies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 263-265.
    2. Polemarchakis, H. M. & Siconolfi, P., 1998. "Prices, Asset Markets and Indeterminacy," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 46-64, September.
    3. Covarrubias, Enrique, 2011. "The equilibrium set of economies with a continuous consumption space," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 137-142, March.
    4. Monteiro, Paulo Klinger & Pascoa, Mario R., 2000. "Discreteness of equilibria in incomplete markets with a continuum of states," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 229-237, March.
    5. Covarrubias Enrique, 2010. "Regular Infinite Economies," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, July.
    6. Hervé Crès & Tobias Markeprand & Mich Tvede, 2009. "Incomplete Financial Markets and Jumps in Asset Prices," Discussion Papers 09-12, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    7. Jean-Marc Tallon, 1995. "Théorie de l'équilibre général avec marchés financiers incomplets," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 46(5), pages 1207-1239.
    8. Elvio Accinelli, 1999. "On uniqueness of equilibrium for complete markets with infinitely many goods and in finance models," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 26(1 Year 19), pages 45-61, June.
    9. Dana, R. A. & Le Van, C., 1996. "Asset Equilibria in Lp spaces with complete markets: A duality approach," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 263-280.
    10. Calvet, Laurent E., 2001. "Incomplete Markets and Volatility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 295-338, June.
    11. Hervé Crès & Tobias Markeprand & Mich Tvede, 2016. "Incomplete financial markets and jumps in asset prices," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(1), pages 201-219, June.
    12. Bettzuge, Marc Oliver, 1998. "An extension of a theorem by Mitjushin and Polterovich to incomplete markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 285-300, October.

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