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Efficiency and Equilibrium when Preferences are Time-Inconsistent

  • Erzo G J Luttmer
  • Thomas Mariotti

We consider an exchange economy with time-inconsistent consumers whose preferences are additively separable. When these consumers trade in a sequence of markets, their time-inconsistency may introduce a non-convexity that gives them an incentive to trade lotteries. If there are many consumers, competitive equilibria with and without lotteries exist. The existence of symmetric equilibria may require lotteries. Symmetric equilibria that do not require lotteries are generically locally unique. Allocations that are Pareto efficient at the initial date are also renegotiation-proof. Competitive equilibria are Pareto efficient in this sense, and for generic endowments, if and only if preferences are locally homothetic. For non-homothetic preferences, the introduction of lottery markets has an ambiguous impact on the equilibrium welfare of consumers at the initial date.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/te/te446.pdf
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Paper provided by Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE in its series STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series with number 446.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:446
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Erzo G. J. Luttmer & Thomas Mariotti, 2003. "Subjective Discounting in an Exchange Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 959-989, October.
  2. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, 01.
  3. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  4. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson In The Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152, November.
  6. Erzo G. J. Luttmer & Thomas Mariotti, 2003. "Efficiency and equilibrium when preferences are time-inconsistent," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19320, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith Jr., Anthony A, 2001. "Equilibrium Welfare and Government Policy with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," CEPR Discussion Papers 2693, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "The Inefficiency of the Stock Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 241-61, April.
  9. Christopher Harris & David Laibson, 1999. "Dynamic Choices of Hyperbolic Consumers," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1886, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Peleg, Bezalel & Yaari, Menahem E, 1973. "On the Existence of a Consistent Course of Action when Tastes are Changing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 391-401, July.
  11. Timothy J. Kehoe & David K. Levine & Edward Prescott, 2000. "Lotteries, Sunspots and Incentive Constraints," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1974, David K. Levine.
  12. Carrillo, Juan D & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 529-44, July.
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