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Supply Theory sans Profit-Maximization

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  • Dasgupta, Indraneel

    () (Indian Statistical Institute)

Abstract

We utilize the analytical construct of a stochastic supply function to provide an aggregate representation of a finite collection of standard deterministic supply functions. We introduce a consistency postulate for a stochastic supply function that may be satisfied even if no underlying deterministic supply function is rationalizable in terms of profit maximization. Our consistency postulate is nonetheless equivalent to a stochastic expansion of supply inequality, which summarizes the predictive content of the traditional theory of competitive supply. A number of key results in the deterministic theory follow as special cases from this equivalence. In particular, it yields a probabilistic version of the law of supply, which implies the traditional specification. Our analysis thus provides a necessary and sufficient axiomatic foundation for a de-coupling of the predictive content of the classical theory of competitive firm behavior from its a priori roots in profit maximization, while subsuming the traditional theory as a special case.

Suggested Citation

  • Dasgupta, Indraneel, 2009. "Supply Theory sans Profit-Maximization," IZA Discussion Papers 4018, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Indraneel Dasgupta & Prasanta Pattanaik, 2007. "‘Regular’ choice and the weak axiom of stochastic revealed preference," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 31(1), pages 35-50, April.
    4. Indraneel Dasgupta, 2005. "Consistent firm choice and the theory of supply," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 26(1), pages 167-175, July.
    5. Bandyopadhyay, Taradas & Dasgupta, Indraneel & Pattanaik, Prasanta K., 1999. "Stochastic Revealed Preference and the Theory of Demand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 95-110, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Indraneel Dasgupta, 2011. "Contraction consistent stochastic choice correspondence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 37(4), pages 643-658, October.
    2. Dasgupta Indraneel & Pattanaik P. K, 2010. "Revealed Preference with Stochastic Demand Correspondence," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, August.
    3. Jan Heufer, 2009. "Stochastic homothetically revealed preference for tight stochastic demand functions," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(3), pages 2472-2477.
    4. Jan Heufer, 2011. "Stochastic revealed preference and rationalizability," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 71(4), pages 575-592, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    supply aggregation; stochastic consistency; stochastic supply inequality; stochastic supply function; law of supply; weak axiom of profit maximization;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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