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Testable Restrictions of General Equilibrium Theory in Exchange Economies with Externalities

  • Andrés Carvajal

    ()

The theory of general equilibrium was criticized for its apparent lack of testable implications,as seemingly implied by the results of Sonnenschein, Mantel and Debreu in the Seventies. This view was challenged by the results of Brown and Matzkin (1996) which showed the existence of testable restrictions on the equilibrium manifold of exchange economies. This paper studies a problem similar to the one posed by Brown and Matzkin, for the case of general equilibrium in the presence of externalities. The natural definition of equilibrium in such case is the Nash-Walras equilibrium concept. I first consider the case of strategic externalities, where I assume that each player chooses a consumption bundle, subject to some budget,and a strategy from a continuous domain, and where the utility of each individual depends on his consumption and on the strategies chosen by all the players. I also consider the case of consumption externalities, in which each individual's utility depends on his consumption of all commodities and on the consumption of some particular commodity by all individuals. The results obtained here are rather negative in that they point towards the unfalsiability of the equilibrium hypothesis. Under the assumption that one can observe individual choices for the externality, I find that there exist some extremely mild testable restrictions. This, however, is not a pure extension of the Brown-Matzkin result, since some individual decisions are assumed to be observed. If there is no information on individual choices, I find that the equilibrium concept imposes no testable restrictions. This occurs unless one imposes further assumptions, such as weak separability.

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Paper provided by Banco de la Republica de Colombia in its series Borradores de Economia with number 231.

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  1. Andrés Carvajal, . "Testable Restrictions on the Equilibrium Manifold under Random Preferences," Borradores de Economia 233, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  2. Rosa L. Matzkin & Marcel K. Richter, 1987. "Testing Strictly Concave Rationality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 844, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1996. "The Empirical Foundations of Calibration," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 87-104, Winter.
  4. GHOSAL, Sayantan & POLEMARCHAKIS , Heracles, 1995. "Nash-Walras equilibria," CORE Discussion Papers 1995080, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  7. Kubler, Felix, 2003. "Observable restrictions of general equilibrium models with financial markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 137-153, May.
  8. Andrés Carvajal, 2003. "A Continuous Extension That Preserves Concavity, Monotonicity And Lipschitz Continuity," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 001907, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  9. Andrés Carvajal, . "Testable Restrictions of Nash Equilibrium in Games with Continuous Domains," Borradores de Economia 229, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  10. P.A. Chiappori & I. Ekeland & F. Kubler & H.M. Polemarchakis, 2002. "Testable Implications of General Equilibrium Theory: a differentiable approach," Working Papers 2002-10, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  11. Mas-Colell, Andreu, 1977. "On the equilibrium price set of an exchange economy," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 117-126, August.
  12. Brown, Donald J & Matzkin, Rosa L, 1996. "Testable Restrictions on the Equilibrium Manifold," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1249-62, November.
  13. Debreu, Gerard, 1974. "Excess demand functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 15-21, March.
  14. Mantel, Rolf R., 1974. "On the characterization of aggregate excess demand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 348-353, March.
  15. Diewert, W. E., 1977. "Generalized slutsky conditions for aggregate consumer demand functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 353-362, August.
  16. Snyder, Susan K., 1999. "Testable restrictions of Pareto optimal public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 97-119, January.
  17. Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1973. "Do Walras' identity and continuity characterize the class of community excess demand functions?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 345-354, August.
  18. Shafer, Wayne & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1993. "Market demand and excess demand functions," Handbook of Mathematical Economics, in: K. J. Arrow & M.D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 4, volume 2, chapter 14, pages 671-693 Elsevier.
  19. Varian, Hal R, 1983. "Non-Parametric Tests of Consumer Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 99-110, January.
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