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Appropriation and Efficiency: A Revision of the First Theorem of Welfare Economics

  • Lewis Makowski
  • Joseph Ostroy

The first theorem of welfare economics rests on the assumption that individuals have neither price-making nor market-making capacities. The authors offer a revision in which individuals have such capacities. The revision emphasizes two keys for market efficiency: the need to align private rewards with social contributions--called full appropriation--and the need for an assumption to counter the possibility of coordination failures in the choice of produced commodities--called noncomplementarity. The authors also emphasize that information about prices of unmarketed commodities involves decentralized knowledge available only to product innovators and that pecuniary externalities are important potential sources of market failure. Copyright 1995 by American Economic Association.

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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 1386.

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Date of creation: 09 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:1386
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  1. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  2. Vives, X., 1988. "Nash Equilibrium With Strategic Complementarities," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 107-88, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  3. Ostroy, Joseph M., 1980. "The no-surplus condition as a characterization of perfectly competitive equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 183-207, April.
  4. Makowski, Louis & Ostroy, Joseph M., 1987. "Vickrey-Clarke-Groves mechanisms and perfect competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 244-261, August.
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