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Back to the future: economic rationality and maximum entropy prediction

  • Sylvain Barde

    ()

An information-theoretic thought experiment is developed to clarify why the maximum entropy methodology is appropriate for predicting the equilibrium state of economic systems. As a first step, object allocation problems, modeled as knapsack problems, are shown to be equivalent to congestion games under weak assumptions. This proves the existence of finite improvement paths linking initial conditions and Nash equilibria. The existence of these improvement paths is precisely what enables the use of maximum entropy to make predictions concerning the equilibrium state. Finally an illustration of this predictive power is provided through an application to the Schelling model of segregation.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/1202.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 1202.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:1202
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/

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  1. Alexis Toda, 2010. "Existence of a statistical equilibrium for an economy with endogenous offer sets," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 379-415, December.
  2. Antonella Tutino, 2010. "Rationally inattentive macroeconomic wedges," Working Papers 1005, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Mishael Milakovic & Carolina Castaldi, 2004. "Turnover Activity in Wealth Portfolios," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 120, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. 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).
  5. Monderer, Dov & Shapley, Lloyd S., 1996. "Potential Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 124-143, May.
  6. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  7. Chakrabarti, Anindya S. & Chakrabarti, Bikas K., 2009. "Microeconomics of the ideal gas like market models," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 388(19), pages 4151-4158.
  8. Alfarano, Simone & Milakovic, Mishael, 2008. "Does classical competition explain the statistical features of firm growth?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 272-274, December.
  9. Gallegati, Mauro & Keen, Steve & Lux, Thomas & Ormerod, Paul, 2006. "Worrying trends in econophysics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 370(1), pages 1-6.
  10. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  11. Christopher A. Sims, 2006. "Rational Inattention: Beyond the Linear-Quadratic Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 158-163, May.
  12. Sylvain Barde, 2012. "Of Ants and Voters. Maximum Entropy Prediction of Agent-Based Models with Recruitment," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 147-175.
  13. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1981. "Allocation Mechanisms and the Design of Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1477-99, November.
  14. Hurwicz, Leonid, 1973. "The Design of Mechanisms for Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 1-30, May.
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