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Information-Constrained Optima with Retrading: An Externality and Its Market-Based Solution


  • Kilenthong, Weerachart
  • Townsend, Robert


This paper studies the efficiency of competitive equilibria in environments with a moral hazard problem and unobserved states, both with retrading in ex post spot markets. The interaction between private information problems and the possibility of retrade creates an externality, unless preferences have special, restrictive properties. The externality is internalized by allowing agents to contract ex ante on market fundamentals determining the spot price or interest rate, over and above contracting on actions and outputs. Then competitive equilibria are equivalent with the appropriate notion of constrained Pareto optimality. Examples show that it is possible to have multiple market fundamentals or price islands, created endogenously in equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Kilenthong, Weerachart & Townsend, Robert, 2010. "Information-Constrained Optima with Retrading: An Externality and Its Market-Based Solution," MPRA Paper 20725, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20725

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 2004. "Financial Intermediaries and Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1023-1061, July.
    2. Edward Simpson Prescott & Robert M. Townsend, 2006. "Firms as Clubs in Walrasian Markets with Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 644-671, August.
    3. J C Fellingham & Y K Kwon & D P Newman, 2010. "Ex Ante Randomization in Agency Models," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1953, David K. Levine.
    4. Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "General Competitive Analysis in an Economy with Private Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 1-20, February.
    5. Bisin, A. & Geanakoplos, J.D. & Gottardi, P. & Minelli, E. & Polemarchakis, H., 2011. "Markets and contracts," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 279-288.
    6. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
    7. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2004. "Smoothing sudden stops," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 119(1), pages 104-127, November.
    8. Emmanuel Farhi & Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2009. "A Theory of Liquidity and Regulation of Financial Intermediation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 973-992.
    9. Alberto Bennardo & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 2003. "Bertrand and Walras Equilibria under Moral Hazard," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 785-817, August.
    10. John C. Fellingham & Young K. Kwon & D. Paul Newman, 1984. "Ex ante Randomization in Agency Models," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 290-301, Summer.
    11. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Krishnamurthy, Arvind, 2001. "International and domestic collateral constraints in a model of emerging market crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 513-548, December.
    12. Prescott, Edward C & Townsend, Robert M, 1984. "Pareto Optima and Competitive Equilibria with Adverse Selection and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 21-45, January.
    13. Marcos B. Lisboa, 2001. "Moral hazard and general equilibrium in large economies," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 18(3), pages 555-575.
    14. Yamazaki, Akira, 1978. "An Equilibrium Existence Theorem without Convexity Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(3), pages 541-555, May.
    15. Guido Lorenzoni, 2008. "Inefficient Credit Booms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 809-833.
    16. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2007. "Optimal Taxation with Endogenous Insurance Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 487-534.
    17. Kilenthong, Weerachart & Townsend, Robert, 2007. "Market Based, Segregated Exchanges with Default Risk," MPRA Paper 20724, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Nov 2009.
    18. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-264.
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    Cited by:

    1. Weerachart T. Kilenthong & Robert M. Townsend, 2014. "A Market Based Solution to Price Externalities: A Generalized Framework," NBER Working Papers 20275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Weerachart Kilenthong & Robert Townsend, 2014. "Segregated Security Exchanges with Ex Ante Rights to Trade: A Market-Based Solution to Collateral-Constrained Externalities," NBER Working Papers 20086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. A. Citanna & P. Siconolfi, 2016. "Designing insurance markets with moral hazard and nonexclusive contracts," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 62(1), pages 325-360, June.
    4. Weerachart T. Kilenthong & Robert M. Townsend, 2016. "A Market Based Solution for Fire Sales and Other Pecuniary Externalities," NBER Working Papers 22056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Corbae, Dean & Marimon, Ramon, 2011. "Introduction to Incompleteness and Uncertainty in Economics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 775-784, May.
    6. Grochulski, Borys, 2013. "Pecuniary Externalities, Segregated Exchanges, and Market Liquidity in a Diamond-Dybvig Economy with Retrade," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 305-340.
    7. Alessandro Fedele & Luca Panaccione, 2015. "Pay package reshuffling and managerial incentives: A principal-agent analysis," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS28, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.

    More about this item


    Externalities; Private information; Moral hazard; Retrading; Walrasian equilibrium; Constrained efficiency; Decentralization;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies

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