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Government Policy and the Probability of Coordination Failures

  • Huberto M. Ennis

    ()

    (Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)

  • Todd Keister

    ()

    (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))

This paper introduces an approach to the study of optimal government policy in economies characterized by a coordination problem and multiple equilibria. Such models are often criticized as not being useful for policy analysis because they fail to assign a unique prediction to each possible policy choice. We employ a selection mechanism that assigns, ex ante, a probability to each equilibrium indicating how likely it is to obtain. We show how such a mechanism can be derived as the natural result of an adaptive learning process. This approach leads to a well-defined optimal policy problem, and has important implications for the conduct of government policy. We illustrate these implications using a simple model of technology adoption under network externalities.

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File URL: http://ftp.itam.mx/pub/academico/inves/keister/03-01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2003
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Paper provided by Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM in its series Working Papers with number 0301.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:0301
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  8. Cooper, Russell & John, Andrew, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-63, August.
  9. Lawrence Blume & David Easley, 1993. "Rational Expectations and Rational Learning," Game Theory and Information 9307003, EconWPA.
  10. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-48, March.
  11. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1994. "Learning, convergence, and stability with multiple rational expectations equilibria," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1071-1098, May.
  12. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  13. Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1991. "Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 885-910, August.
  14. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
  15. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
  16. Huberto M. Ennis & Todd Keister, 2003. "Aggregate demand management with multiple equilibria," Working Paper 03-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. Evans, George W., 1989. "The fragility of sunspots and bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 297-317, March.
  18. Cole, Harold L & Kehoe, Timothy J, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116, January.
  19. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  20. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
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  22. Nyarko, Yaw, 1990. "Learning In Mis-Specified Models And The Possibility Of Cycles," Working Papers 90-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  23. Huberto M. Ennis & Todd Keister, 2003. "Economic growth, liquidity, and bank runs," Working Paper 03-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  24. James Peck & Karl Shell, 2003. "Equilibrium Bank Runs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 103-123, February.
  25. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, June.
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