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Rethinking Multiple Equilibria in Macroeconomic Modeling

In: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15

  • Stephen Morris
  • Hyun Song Shin

Are beliefs as indeterminate as suggested by models with multiple equilibria? Multiplicity of equilibria arise largely as the unintended consequence of two modelling assumptions -- the fundamentals are assumed to be common knowledge, and economic agents know others' actions in equilibrium. Both are questionable. When others' actions are not known with certainty, such as when actions rely on noisy signals, self-fulfilling beliefs lead to a unique outcome determined by the fundamentals and the knowledges that others are rational. This paper illustrates this approach in the context of a model of bank runs and other similar applications. Such an approach places comparative statics and policy analyses on a firmer footing. It also suggests that public information has a disproportionately larger impact on the outcome than private information.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern01-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11056.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11056
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    1. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1989. "Industrialization and the Big Push," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1003-26, October.
    2. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, . "Approximate Common Knowledge and Co-ordination: Recent Lessons from Game Theory," Penn CARESS Working Papers 72042421d029130510780dde2, Penn Economics Department.
    3. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
    4. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
    5. Ganslandt, Mattias & Carlsson, Hans, 1997. "Noisy Equilibrium Selection in Coordination Games," Working Paper Series 485, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    6. Hyun Song Shin & Stephen Morris, 2001. "Coordination Risk and the Price of Debt," FMG Discussion Papers dp373, Financial Markets Group.
    7. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1997. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-fulfilling Currency Attacks," CEPR Discussion Papers 1687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Hans Carlsson & Eric van Damme, 1993. "Global Games and Equilibrium Selection," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001088, David K. Levine.
    9. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
    10. Gary Gorton, 1986. "Banking panics and business cycles," Working Papers 86-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    11. Frankel, David M. & Morris, Stephen & Pauzner, Ady, 2003. "Equilibrium Selection in Global Games with Strategic Complementarities," Staff General Research Papers 11920, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    12. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-154416 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Bryant, John, 1983. "A Simple Rational Expectations Keynes-Type Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 525-28, August.
    14. Xavier Freixas & Jean-Charles Rochet, 1997. "Microeconomics of Banking," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061937, June.
    15. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    16. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1989. "The Electronic Mail Game: Strategic Behavior under "Almost Common Knowledge."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 385-91, June.
    17. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
    18. Postlewaite, Andrew & Vives, Xavier, 1987. "Bank Runs as an Equilibrium Phenomenon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 485-91, June.
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