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On Microeconomic Efficiency and Entrepreneurship under Bounded Rationality

  • Chavas, Jean-Paul

    (U of Wisconsin)

  • Barham, Bradford

We present a dynamic model of economic behavior of an owner-operated firm under bounded rationality, and develop the implications for the assessment of economic efficiency and the understanding of entrepreneurship. Under bounded rationality, information about technology and market conditions is not perfectly known, creating the possibility for learning. Uncertainty is represented using a general state-contingent approach. Efficiency analysis is explored using a certainty equivalent measure, which is the sum of three parts: expected net income, a conditional value of information, and a risk premium (measuring the implicit cost of private risk bearing). The analysis yields critical insights about the role of learning in technical efficiency, allocative efficiency, and their implications for an improved understanding of entrepreneurship. These insights also provide micro-theoretic grounding to some classic debates (e.g., Leibenstein and Stigler) about what contributes to efficiency and technological progress in an economy.

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File URL: http://www.aae.wisc.edu/pubs/sps/pdf/stpap516.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics in its series Staff Paper Series with number 516.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:wisagr:516
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Web page: http://www.aae.wisc.edu/pubs/sps/
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  1. Quiggin, John, 1982. "A theory of anticipated utility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 323-343, December.
  2. Chambers,Robert G. & Quiggin,John, 2000. "Uncertainty, Production, Choice, and Agency," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521785235, May.
  3. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Guillermo Moloche & Stephen Weinberg, 2006. "Costly Information Acquisition: Experimental Analysis of a Boundedly Rational Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1043-1068, September.
  4. C.J. O'Donnell & W.E. Griffiths, 2004. "Estimating State-Contingent Production Frontiers," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 911, The University of Melbourne.
  5. Chambers, Robert G. & Chung, Yangho & Fare, Rolf, 1996. "Benefit and Distance Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 407-419, August.
  6. Mark J Machina, 1982. ""Expected Utility" Analysis without the Independence Axiom," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7650, David K. Levine.
  7. Quiggin, John & Chambers, Robert G, 2001. " The Firm under Uncertainty with General Risk-Averse Preferences: A State-Contingent Approach," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 5-20, January.
  8. Subal C. Kumbhakar, 2002. "Specification and Estimation of Production Risk, Risk Preferences and Technical Efficiency," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 8-22.
  9. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
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