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Second-order Price Dynamics: Approach to Equilibrium with Perpetual Arbitrage

  • Eric Kemp-Benedict

The notion that economies should normally be in equilibrium is by now well-established; equally well-established is that economies are almost never precisely in equilibrium. Using a very general formulation, we show that under dynamics that are second-order in time a price system can remain away from equilibrium with permanent and repeating opportunities for arbitrage, even when a damping term drives the system towards equilibrium. We also argue that second-order dynamic equations emerge naturally when there are heterogeneous economic actors, some behaving as active and knowledgeable arbitrageurs, and others using heuristics. The essential mechanism is that active arbitrageurs are able to repeatedly benefit from the suboptimal heuristics that govern most economic behavior.

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File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.5926
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Paper provided by arXiv.org in its series Papers with number 1202.5926.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1202.5926
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  1. Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1972. "Market Excess Demand Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(3), pages 549-63, May.
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  4. Herbert E. Scarf, 1959. "Some Examples of Global Instability of the Competitive Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 79, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Eric Kemp-Benedict, 2011. "Second-Order, Dissipative T\^atonnement: Economic Interpretation and 2-Point Limit Cycles," Papers 1108.0188, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2011.
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  8. Frank Ackerman, 2001. "Still dead after all these years: interpreting the failure of general equilibrium theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 119-139.
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  10. Debreu, Gerard, 1974. "Excess demand functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 15-21, March.
  11. Xavier Gabaix & Parameswaran Gopikrishnan & Vasiliki Plerou & H. Eugene Stanley, 2005. "Institutional Investors and Stock Market Volatility," NBER Working Papers 11722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jordan, J. S., 1986. "Instability in the implementation of Walrasian allocations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 301-328, August.
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  14. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521378567 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Alan S. Blinder, 1994. "On Sticky Prices: Academic Theories Meet the Real World," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 117-154 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Gabaix, Xavier & Gopikrishnan, Parameswaran & Plerou, Vasiliki & Stanley, Eugene, 2007. "A unified econophysics explanation for the power-law exponents of stock market activity," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 382(1), pages 81-88.
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