Default Penalty as a Selection Mechanism among Multiple Equilibria
Closed exchange and production-and-exchange economies may have multiple equilibria, a fact that is usually ignored in macroeconomic models. Our basic argument is that default and bankruptcy laws are required to prevent strategic default, and these laws can also serve to provide the conditions for uniqueness. In this paper, we report experimental evidence on the effectiveness of this approach to resolving multiplicity: a society can assign default penalties on fiat money so that the economy selects one of the equilibria. Our data show that the choice of default penalty takes the economy close to the chosen equilibrium. The theory and evidence together reinforce the idea that accounting, bankruptcy and possibly other aspects of social mechanisms play an important role in resolving the otherwise mathematically intractable challenges associated with multiplicity of equilibria in closed economies.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2009|
|Date of revision:||Dec 2012|
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- Bergstrom Theodore C & Shimomura Ken-Ichi & Yamato Takehiko, 2009.
"Simple Economies with Multiple Equilibria,"
The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics,
De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-31, December.
- Bergstrom, Ted C & Shimomura, Ken-Ichi & Yamato, Takehiko, 2008. "Simple Economies with Multiple Equilibria," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt6qv909xs, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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