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Economic Survival when Markets are Incomplete

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  • Pablo F. Beker
  • Subir Chattopadhyay

Abstract

We consider an infinite horizon economy with incomplete markets with two agents and one good. We begin with an example in which an agent's equilibrium consumption is zero eventually with probability one even if she has correct beliefs and is marginally more patient. We then prove the following general result: if markets are effectively incomplete forever then on any equilibrium path on which some agent's consumption is bounded away from zero eventually, the other agent's consumption is zero eventually. This implies that either some agent vanishes, in that she consumes zero eventually, or the consumption of both agents is arbitrarily close to zero infinitely often. Later we show that the first possibility is a robust outcome since for a wide class of economies with incomplete markets, there are equilibria in which an agent's consumption is zero eventually with probability one even though she has correct beliefs as in the example. Our results mark a sharp contrast with the case studied by Sandroni (2000) and Blume and Easley (2004) where markets are complete.
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  • Pablo F. Beker & Subir Chattopadhyay, 2005. "Economic Survival when Markets are Incomplete," Levine's Working Paper Archive 784828000000000422, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:784828000000000422
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Constantinides, George M & Duffie, Darrell, 1996. "Asset Pricing with Heterogeneous Consumers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(2), pages 219-240, April.
    2. Levine, David K. & Zame, William R., 1996. "Debt constraints and equilibrium in infinite horizon economies with incomplete markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 103-131.
    3. Duffie, Darrell, et al, 1994. "Stationary Markov Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 745-781, July.
    4. Krebs, Tom, 2004. "Testable implications of consumption-based asset pricing models with incomplete markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 191-206, February.
    5. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:2:p:284-306 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Lawrence Blume & David Easley, 2006. "If You're so Smart, why Aren't You Rich? Belief Selection in Complete and Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 929-966, July.
    7. Kubler, Felix & Schmedders, Karl, 2002. "Recursive Equilibria In Economies With Incomplete Markets," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(02), pages 284-306, April.
    8. Manuel S. Santos & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Rational Asset Pricing Bubbles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 19-58, January.
    9. Tarek Coury & Emanuela Sciubba, 2012. "Belief heterogeneity and survival in incomplete markets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(1), pages 37-58, January.
    10. Magill, Michael & Quinzii, Martine, 1994. "Infinite Horizon Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 853-880, July.
    11. Krebs, Tom, 2004. "Non-existence of recursive equilibria on compact state spaces when markets are incomplete," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 134-150, March.
    12. Hernandez D., Alejandro & Santos, Manuel S., 1996. "Competitive Equilibria for Infinite-Horizon Economies with Incomplete Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 102-130, October.
    13. Bewley, Truman, 1982. "An integration of equilibrium theory and turnpike theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2-3), pages 233-267, September.
    14. David K. Levine & William R. Zame, 2002. "Does Market Incompleteness Matter?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1805-1839, September.
    15. Rader, Trout, 1981. "Utility over time: The homothetic case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 219-236, October.
    16. Blume, Lawrence & Easley, David, 1992. "Evolution and market behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 9-40, October.
    17. Robert A. Becker, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-382.
    18. Sandroni, Alvaro, 2005. "Market selection when markets are incomplete," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 91-104, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brock, W.A. & Hommes, C.H. & Wagener, F.O.O., 2009. "More hedging instruments may destabilize markets," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(11), pages 1912-1928, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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