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Heterogeneous Expectations, Volatility and Welfare

This paper explores the extent to which the lack of rationality of economic agents has affected the economic fluctuations of the U.S. hog market. The dynamic model of this paper adopts the framework of conventional rational expectations models and nests heterogeneity in expectations in the framework. In particular, the model assumes two types of economic agents. One (rational agent) has rational expectations and the other (boundedly rational agent) has static expectations. A log-likelihood function is constructed based on the model and the fraction of boundedly rational agents is estimated by the function. Subsequently, simulation experiments are performed to investigate the extent to which the presence of boundedly rational economic agents has affected the volatility of the economic variables of the market. In particular, two sets of artificial data are generated by the model, one set with the estimated fraction of boundedly rational agents and the other with their zero fraction. Next, the standard deviations of the quantity and price variables are computed using the simulated data and then compared. The welfare quantified as consumer surplus minus production costs is measured and compared in the same way. Empirical test results indicate that the presence of boundedly rational economic agents has increased the price and quantity volatility by 14 and 25 percent respectively, in the U.S. hog market for the period from 1945 to 1990. However, welfare turns out to be rarely affected by their presence as far as rational economic agents dominate the market.

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File URL: http://www.iuj.ac.jp/workingpapers/index.cfm?File=EMS_2000_01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2000
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Paper provided by Research Institute, International University of Japan in its series Working Papers with number EMS_2000_01.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iuj:wpaper:ems_2000_01
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  1. Dechert, Dee, 1978. "Optimal control problems from second-order difference equations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 50-63, October.
  2. Bray, Margaret, 1982. "Learning, estimation, and the stability of rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 318-339, April.
  3. Hayes, Dermot J. & Schmitz, Andrew, 1987. "Hog Cycles and Countercyclical Production Response," Staff General Research Papers 597, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Becker, Robert A., 1985. "Capital income taxation and perfect foresight," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 147-167, March.
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  9. Lars Peter Hansen & Ellen R. McGrattan & Thomas J. Sargent, 1994. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Staff Report 182, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Kenneth D. West, 1993. "Inventory Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jean-Michel Grandmont, 1998. "Expectations Formation and Stability of Large Socioeconomic Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 741-782, July.
  12. De Long, J. Bradford & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Waldmann, Robert J., 1990. "Noise Trader Risk in Financial Markets," Scholarly Articles 3725552, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Jarvis, Lovell S, 1974. "Cattle as Capital Goods and Ranchers as Portfolio Managers: An Application to the Argentine Cattle Sector," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(3), pages 489-520, May/June.
  14. Andrews, Donald W K, 1996. "Admissibility of the Likelihood Ratio Test When the Parameter Space Is Restricted under the Alternative," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 705-18, May.
  15. Baak, Saang Joon, 1999. "Tests for bounded rationality with a linear dynamic model distorted by heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1517-1543, September.
  16. J. Barkley Rosser, 1999. "On the Complexities of Complex Economic Dynamics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 169-192, Fall.
  17. McGrattan, Ellen R., 1994. "A note on computing competitive equilibria in linear models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 149-160, January.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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