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Learning Competitive Equilibrium

The epsilon-intelligent competitive equilibrium algorithm is a decentralized alternative to Walras' tatonnement procedure for markets to arrive at competitive equilibrium. We build on the Gode-Spear-Sunder zero-intelligent algorithm in which random generation of bids and offers from agents' welfare-enhancing opportunity sets generates Pareto optimal allocations in a pure exchange economy. We permit agents to know if they are subsidizing others at such allocations, and to veto such allocations, restricting the subsequent iterations of the algorithm only to those trades that are both Pareto-improving and provide strictly greater wealth, and ultimately utility, for such agents. In this simple institution actions of minimally intelligent agents based on local information can lead the market to approximate competitive equilibrium in a larger set of economies than the tatonnement process would allow. This helps address one of the major shortcomings of the Arrow-Debreu-McKenzie model with respect to the instability of tatonnement in an open set of economies. It also addresses the behavioral critique of mathematically derived equilibria for the inability of cognitively-limited humans to maximize. The proof of convergence of the algorithm presented here also provides a way of showing the existence of competitive equilibrium for monotonic, convex exchange economies with heterogeneous agents and many goods without application of a fixed-point theorem.

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File URL: http://econ.tepper.cmu.edu/spear/lce_12-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2003-E18.

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Date of creation: Dec 1899
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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:-2052381325
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/

Order Information: Web: http://student-3k.tepper.cmu.edu/gsiadoc/GSIA_WP.asp

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  1. Sean Crockett, 2008. "Learning competitive equilibrium in laboratory exchange economies," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 157-180, January.
  2. Gode, Dhananjay K & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero-Intelligence Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 119-37, February.
  3. Noussair, Charles & Plott, Charles & Riezman, Raymond., . "An Experimental Investigation of the Patterns of International Trade," Working Papers 799, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  4. Hurwicz, Leonid & Radner, Roy & Reiter, Stanley, 1975. "A Stochastic Decentralized Resource Allocation Process: Part I," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(2), pages 187-221, March.
  5. Hirota, Masayoshi, 1981. "On the Stability of Competitive Equilibrium and the Patterns of Initial Holdings: An Example," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 461-67, June.
  6. Arlington W. Williams & John O. Ledyard & Steven Gjerstad & Vernon L. Smith, 2000. "Concurrent trading in two experimental markets with demand interdependence," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 511-528.
  7. Smale, S., 1974. "Global analysis and economics III : Pareto Optima and price equilibria," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 107-117, August.
  8. Feldman, Allan M, 1973. "Bilateral Trading, Processes, Pairwise Optimality, and Pareto Optimality," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 463-73, October.
  9. Anderson, Christopher M. & Granat, Sander & Plott, Charles R. & Shimomura, Ken-Ichi, 2000. "Global Instability in Experimental General Equilibrium: The Scarf Example," Working Papers 1086, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  10. Vernon L. Smith, 1962. "An Experimental Study of Competitive Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 322.
  11. Simon, Herbert A, 1978. "Rationality as Process and as Product of Thought," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 1-16, May.
  12. Kirman, Alan, 1989. "The Intrinsic Limits of Modern Economic Theory: The Emperor Has No Clothes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 126-39, Supplemen.
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