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Nonuniqueness of Solutions in Applied General Equilibrium Models with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition


  • Mercenier, Jean


Since the publication of Harris (1984), applied general equilibrium models with imperfect competition and economies of scale have been extensively used for analyzing international trade and development policy issues. Their attractiveness comes from their offering a natural framework for testing the empirical relevance of numerous propositions from the industrial organization and new trade theoretical literature. Their role in the recent debates on the North American Free Trade Agreement demonstrates their potential importance in policy analysis. This paper warns model builders and users that considerable caution is however needed in interpreting the results and in deriving strong policy conclusion from these models: it is shown that in this generation of applied general equilibrium models, nonuniqueness of equilibria is not a theoretical curiosum, but a potentially serious problem. Disregarding this may lead to dramatically wrong policy appraisals.

Suggested Citation

  • Mercenier, Jean, 1995. "Nonuniqueness of Solutions in Applied General Equilibrium Models with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 6(1), pages 161-177, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:6:y:1995:i:1:p:161-77

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francesco Di Comite & Olga Diukanova & D'Artis Kancs, 2016. "RHOMOLO Model Manual: A Dynamic Spatial General Equilibrium Model for EU Regions and Sectors," JRC Working Papers JRC96776, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. Mercenier, Jean & Yeldan, Erinc, 1999. "A Plea For Greater Attention on the Data in Policy Analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 851-873, December.
    3. Dakhlia, Sami, 1999. "Testing for a unique equilibrium in applied general equilibrium models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1281-1297, September.
    4. Mercenier, Jean & Yeldan, Erinc, 1997. "On Turkey's trade policy: Is a customs union with Europe enough?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 871-880, April.
    5. Pierre Picard & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2010. "Self-organized agglomerations and transport costs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 42(3), pages 565-589, March.
    6. Ghosh, Madanmohan & Rao, Someshwar, 2005. "A Canada-U.S. customs union: Potential economic impacts in NAFTA countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 805-827, October.
    7. Florian Mayneris, 2017. "Effets des infrastructures de transport sur le niveau et la localisation des activités économiques," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2017023, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    8. Georges, Patrick, 2008. "Toward a North American customs union: Rules of origin liberalization matters more than a common external tariff for Canada," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 304-318, December.
    9. Gustavo Gonzaga & Maria Cristina Terra & Jorge Cavalcante, 1997. "O impacto do Mercosul sobre o emprego setorial no Brasil," Textos para discussão 382, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    10. Kimakova, Alena & Rajabiun, Reza, 1999. "An Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of EU Integration for Hungary and Slovakia," Transition Economics Series 9, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    11. Jaewon Lim & Changkeun Lee & Euijune Kim, 2015. "Contributions of human capital investment policy to regional economic growth: an interregional CGE model approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 55(2), pages 269-287, December.
    12. Klaus Ritzberger & Frank Milne, 2002. "Strategic pricing of equity issues," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 20(2), pages 271-294.
    13. Jean Mercenier & Maria Teresa Alvarez Martinez & Andries Brandsma & Francesco Di Comite & Olga Diukanova & d'Artis Kancs & Patrizio Lecca & Montserrat Lopez-Cobo & Philippe Monfort & Damiaan Persyn & , 2016. "RHOMOLO-v2 Model Description: A spatial computable general equilibrium model for EU regions and sectors," JRC Working Papers JRC100011, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    14. Jean Mercenier & Bernardin Akitoby, 1993. "On intertemporal general-equilibrium reallocation effects of Europe's move to a single market," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 87, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    15. WILLENBOCKEL Dirk, "undated". "The Numeraire Problem in General Equilibrium Models with Market Power: Much Ado About Nothing?," EcoMod2003 330700152, EcoMod.
    16. Patrick Georges, 2008. "Liberalizing NAFTA Rules of Origin: A Dynamic CGE Analysis," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 672-691, September.
    17. Dirk Willenbockel, 2005. "The Price Normalisation Problem in General Equilibriun Models with Oligopoly Power: An Attempt at Perspective," GE, Growth, Math methods 0505002, EconWPA.
    18. Mercenier, Jean & Yeldan, A. Erinc, 1996. "On Turkey's European Trade Policy: How Desirable is a Status Quo," 1996: Implications of the New Growth Theory to Agricultural Trade Research and Trade Policy Conference, December 1996, Washington DC 50865, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    19. Patrick Georges, 2007. "Modeling the Removal of NAFTA Rules of Origin: A Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Working Papers 0705E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    20. Conrad, Klaus, 2001. "Computable General equilibrium Models in Environmental and Resource Economics," Discussion Papers 601, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.

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