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General Equilibrium with Asymmetric Information: A Dual Approach

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  • Belen Jerez

    (Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

We study markets where the characteristics or decisions of certain agents are relevant but not known to their trading partners. Assuming exclusive transactions, the environment is described as a continuum economy with indivisible commodities. We characterize incentive constrained efficient allocations as solutions to linear programming problems and appeal to duality theory to demonstrate the generic existence of external effects in these markets. Because under certain conditions such effects may generate non-convexities, randomization emerges as a theoretic possibility. In characterizing market equilibria we show that, consistently with the personalized nature of transactions, prices are generally non-linear in the underlying consumption. On the other hand, external effects may have critical implications for market efficiency. With adverse selection, in fact, cross-subsidization across agents with different private information may be necessary for optimality, and so, the market need not even achieve an incentive constrained efficient allocation. In contrast, in the case of a single (type of) commodity, we find that when informational asymmetries arise after the trading period (e.g. moral hazard; ex post hidden types) external effects are fully internalized at a market equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Belen Jerez, 2000. "General Equilibrium with Asymmetric Information: A Dual Approach," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1497, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:wc2000:1497
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2006. "Efficient Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 485-516, June.
    2. Alberto Bisin & Piero Gottardi, 2000. "Decentralizing Incentive Efficient Allocations of Economies with Adverse Selection," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0855, Econometric Society.
    3. Jerez, Belen, 2003. "A dual characterization of incentive efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 1-34, September.
    4. Belen Jerez, 2005. "Incentive Compatibility and Pricing under Moral Hazard," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 28-47, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis

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