Ignorance is bliss: rationality, information and equilibrium
An information-theoretic thought experiment is developed to provide a methodology for predicting endowment distributions in the absence of information on agent preferences. The allocation problem is first presented as a stylised knapsack problem. Although this knapsack allocation is intractable, the social planner can nevertheless make precise predictions concerning the endowment distribution by using its information-theoretic structure. By construction these predictions do not rest on the rationality of agents. It is also shown, however, that the knapsack problem is equivalent to a congestion game under weak assumptions, which means that the planner can nevertheless evaluate the optimality of the unobserved allocation.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: School of Economics, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP|
Phone: +44 (0)1227 827497
Web page: http://www.kent.ac.uk/economics/
|Order Information:|| Email: |
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Mantel, Rolf R., 1974. "On the characterization of aggregate excess demand," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 348-353, March.
- Mhand Hifi & Slim Sadfi & Abdelkader Sbihi, 2004. "An exact algorithm for the multiple-choice multidimensional knapsack problem," Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques b04024, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
- Gode, Dhananjay K & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero-Intelligence Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 119-37, February.
- Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1972. "Market Excess Demand Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(3), pages 549-63, May.
- Foley Duncan K., 1994. "A Statistical Equilibrium Theory of Markets," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 321-345, April.
- Debreu, Gerard, 1974. "Excess demand functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 15-21, March.
- Alexis Toda, 2010. "Existence of a statistical equilibrium for an economy with endogenous offer sets," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 45(3), pages 379-415, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tracey Girling)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.