Predetermined Prices and the Allocation of Social Risks
We propose a Walrasian explanation for the existence of fixed prices, i.e., of trades in which either the price or the quantity exchanged do not reflect all publicly available information. Such trades result in a rigid price system that facilitates the sharing of social risks; they may also cause allocative distortions which tend to increase the equilibrium price of insurance above its actuarially fair level. The simple overlapping generations model we consider here exhibits a tradeoff between risk sharing and allocative efficiency that is familiar from the incentives literature. We demonstrate that the market for non-contingent claims is active only when the insurance "gain" from it outweighs the "cost" of allocative distortions. Fixed price equilibria are constrained optima in this essay, i.e., they cannot be dominated by an appropriately constrained central planner.
|Date of creation:||1983|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics (May 1985), 495-518|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
- Grossman, Sanford J., 1977. "A characterization of the optimality of equilibrium in incomplete markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, June.
- Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
- Shell, Karl, 1971. "Notes on the Economics of Infinity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 1002-11, Sept.-Oct.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:660. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Glena Ames)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.