Consumer surplus analysis under uncertainty: a general equilibrium perspective

Hayashi, T. (2014) Consumer surplus analysis under uncertainty: a general equilibrium perspective. Journal of Mathematical Economics, 55, pp. 154-164. (doi:10.1016/j.jmateco.2014.02.001)

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Abstract

This paper derives an exact form of partial equilibrium efficiency measure under uncertainty which is consistent with expected utility maximization in a general equilibrium situation with ex-post spot markets for many goods and asset markets which are in general incomplete.

We consider that the good under consideration tends to be negligibly small compared to the entire set of commodity characteristics which is assumed to be a continuum, and look into the limit property of preferences over state-contingent consumption of the good and state-contingent income transfer associated to it. We show that the limit preference exhibits risk neutrality, not only that it exhibits no income effect, meaning that the two conditions are tied together. We also show that the marginal rate of substitution between extra income transfers at different states of the world converges to the ratio between the Lagrange multipliers associated to those states. When the asset markets are complete such ratios are equalized between consumers, but it is not the case in general when the asset markets are incomplete. This means that using the aggregate expected consumer surplus as the welfare measure will be in general inconsistent with individuals’ expected utility maximization in the general equilibrium environment or with ex-ante Pareto efficiency.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hayashi, Professor Takashi
Authors: Hayashi, T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Journal of Mathematical Economics
ISSN:0304-4068
ISSN (Online):1873-1538

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