Evolution of Trading Structures
This paper reviews the evolution of trading structures by examining two pertinent strands in the literature on economics with interacting agents, one, works that presume a specified topology of interactions among agents, and two, works that let random mechanisms determine that topology. The papr reviews interactive discrete choice models in isotropic settings and proposes extensions within certain stylized anisotopic settings which are particularly interesting for economists. In particular, circular patterns of interaction highlight the role of money and credit; tree-type settings depict Walrasian interactions. The paper suggests that the random topology of interaction approach, which as employed analyses of sizes of trading gorups and thus exploit the full range of possible topological properties of trading structures. The paper proposes an integration of those approaches which is intended to exploit their natural complementaries. In the simplest possible version, our sythesis involves individual decisions and expectations, randomness, and nature combinng to fix an initial "primordial" topology of interaction. The dynamics of interaction move the economy from then on. The evolution of trading structures depends criticlaly upon multiplicity and stability properties of equilibrium configurations of the interaction model. The paper addresses a number of additional topics, including matching models, spatial aspects of the evolution of trading structures and issues of statistical inference.
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