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Weak axiomatic demand theory

  • John Quah

    ()

This paper gives a unified and simple treatment of three related questions in the demand theory of the weak axiom: (i) Is there an elementary, i.e., non-fixed point theoretic, proof of equilibrium existence when the excess demand function of an economy satisfies the weak axiom? (ii) What conditions are sufficient for a non-transitive preference to generate a continuous demand function? Note that such a demand must satisfy the weak, though not necessarily the strong, axiom. This motivates the next question. (iii) Given a function that satisfies the weak axiom, can we find a (non necessarily transitive) preference that generates it? To answer this first question, we give a proof using the separating hyperplane theorem. With the help of this result, we identify a class of non-transitive preferences which generate continuous demand functions, and within which any demand function satisfying the weak axiom can be rationalized.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00199-005-0017-y
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 29 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 677-699

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:29:y:2006:i:3:p:677-699
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  1. Loomes, Graham & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1991. "Observing Violations of Transitivity by Experimental Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 425-39, March.
  2. Quah, John K.-H., 2008. "The existence of equilibrium when excess demand obeys the weak axiom," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3-4), pages 337-343, February.
  3. Laurent E. Calvet & Etienne Comon, 2000. "Behavioral Heterogeneity and The Income Effect," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1892, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Jerison, Michael, 1999. "Dispersed excess demands, the weak axiom and uniqueness of equilibrium," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 15-48, February.
  5. Kim, Taesung & Richter, Marcel K., 1986. "Nontransitive-nontotal consumer theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 324-363, April.
  6. Al-Najjar Nabil, 1993. "Non-transitive Smooth Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 14-41, June.
  7. John K.-H. Quah, 1997. "The Law of Demand when Income Is Price Dependent," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1421-1442, November.
  8. Bandyopadhyay, Taradas & Dasgupta, Indraneel & Pattanaik, Prasanta K., 1999. "Stochastic Revealed Preference and the Theory of Demand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 95-110, January.
  9. Fishburn, Peter C, 1991. " Nontransitive Preferences in Decision Theory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 113-34, April.
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