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History : Sunk Cost, or Widespread Externality?

  • Hammond, Peter J.

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

In an intertemporal Arrow-Debreu economy with a continuum of agents, suppose that the auctioneer sets prices while the government institutes optimal lump-sum transfers period by period. An earlier paper showed how subgame imperfections arise because agents understand how their current decisions such as those determining investment will influence future lump-sum transfers. This observation undermines the second efficiency theorem of welfare economics and makes “history” a widespread externality. A two-period model is used to investigate the constrained efficiency properties of different kinds of equilibrium. Possibilities for remedial policy are also discussed.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_808.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 808.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:808
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  1. Kaneko, Mamoru & Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1989. "The core of a continuum economy with widespread externalities and finite coalitions: From finite to continuum economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 135-168, October.
  2. Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Dynamic inconsistency, cooperation and the benevolent dissembling government," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 93-107, May.
  3. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1986. "Time inconsistency of benevolent government economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 25-52, October.
  5. Hammond, Peter J., 2007. "Competitive Market Mechanisms as Social Choice Procedures," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 804, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. R. A. Pollak, 1968. "Consistent Planning," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 201-208.
  7. Karp, Larry & Newbery, David M G, 1989. "Intertemporal Consistency Issues in Depletable Resources," CEPR Discussion Papers 346, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Willmann, Gerald, 2004. "Pareto gains from trade: a dynamic counterexample," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 199-204, May.
  9. Rogers, Carol Ann, 1986. "The effect of distributive goals on the time inconsistency of optimal taxes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 251-269, March.
  10. Rogers, Carol Ann, 1991. "A simple model of endogenous tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 91-111, October.
  11. E. S. Phelps & R. A. Pollak, 1968. "On Second-Best National Saving and Game-Equilibrium Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 185-199.
  12. P.J. Hammond, 2007. "History: Sunk Cost, or Widespread Externality?," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 115(2), pages 161-185.
  13. Rogers, Carol Ann, 1987. "Expenditure taxes, income taxes, and time-inconsistency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-230, March.
  14. Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "The Welfare Cost of Factor Taxation in a Perfect-Foresight Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 675-709, August.
  15. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-37, December.
  16. Hammond, Peter J. & Kaneko, Mamoru & Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1989. "Continuum economies with finite coalitions: Core, equilibria, and widespread externalities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 113-134, October.
  17. V. V. Chari, 1988. "Time consistency and optimal policy design," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 17-31.
  18. Reinhard Selten, 1973. "A Simple Model of Imperfect Competition, where 4 are Few and 6 are Many," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 008, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  19. T. Bergstrom, 1971. "On the Existence and Optimality of Competitive Equilibrium for a Slave Economy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 23-36.
  20. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-77, September.
  21. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  22. Kaneko, Mamoru & Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1986. "The core of a game with a continuum of players and finite coalitions: The model and some results," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 105-137, October.
  23. Maskin, Eric S & Newbery, David M, 1990. "Disadvantageous Oil Tariffs and Dynamic Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 143-56, March.
  24. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
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