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Disequilibrium macroeconomics is a tradition of research centered on the role of disequilibrium in economics. This approach is also known as non-Walrasian theory, equilibrium with rationing, the non-market clearing approach, and non-tâtonnement theory.Early work in the area was done by Don Patinkin, Robert W. Clower, and Axel Leijonhufvud. Their work was formalized into general disequilibrium models, which were very influential in the 1970s. American economists had mostly abandoned these models by the late 1970s, but French economists continued work in the tradition and developed fixprice models.
In the neoclassical synthesis, equilibrium models were the rule. In these models, rigid wages modeled unemployment at equilibria. These models were challenged by Don Patinkin and later disequilibrium theorists. Patinkin argued that unemployment resulted from disequilibrium.Patinkin, Robert W. Clower, and Axel Leijonhufvud focused on the role of disequilibrium. Clower and Leijonhufvud argued that disequilibrium formed a fundamental part of Keynes's theory and deserved greater attention.
Robert Barro and Herschel Grossman formulated general disequilibrium models,in which individual markets were locked into prices before there was a general equilibrium. These markets produced "false prices" resulting in disequilibrium. Soon after the work of Barro and Grossman, disequilibrium models fell out of favor in the United States and Barro abandoned Keynesianism and adopted new classical, market-clearing hypotheses. However, leading American economists continued work with disequilibrium models, for example Franklin M. Fisher at MIT, Richard E. Quandt at Princeton University, and John Roberts at Stanford University.
While disequilibrium economics had only a supporting role in the US, it had major role in European economics, and indeed a leading role in French-speaking Europe.In France, Jean-Pascal Bénassy (1975) and Yves Younès (1975) studied macroeconomic models with fixed prices. Disequilibrium economics received greater research as mass unemployment returned to Western Europe in the 1970s. Disequilibrium economics also influenced European policy discussions, particularly in France and Belgium. European economists such as Edmond Malinvaud and Jacques Drèze expanded on the disequilibrium tradition and worked to explain price rigidity instead of simply assuming it.
Malinvaud used disequilibrium analysis to develop a theory of unemployment.He argued that disequilibrium in the labor and goods markets could lead to rationing of goods and labor, leading to unemployment. Malinvaud adopted a fixprice framework and argued that pricing would be rigid in modern, industrial prices compared to the relatively flexible pricing systems of raw goods that dominate agricultural economies. In Malinvaud's framework, prices are fixed and only quantities adjust. Malinvaud considers an equilibrium state in classical and Keynesian unemployment as most likely. He pays less attention to the case of repressed inflation and considers underconsumption/unemployment a theoretical curiosity. Work in the neoclassical tradition is confined as a special case of Malinvaud's typology, the Walrasian equilibrium. In Malinvaud's theory, reaching the Walrasian equilibrium case is almost impossible to achieve given the nature of industrial pricing. Malinvaud's work provided different policy prescriptions depending on the state of the economy. Given Keynesian unemployment, fiscal policy could shift both the labor and goods curves upwards leading to higher wages and prices. With this shift, the Walrasian equilibrium would be closer to the actual economic equilibrium. On the other hand, fiscal policy with an economy in the classical unemployment would only make matters worse. A policy leading to higher prices and lower wages would be recommended instead.
"Disequilibrium macroeconometrics" was developed by Drèze's, Henri Sneessens (1981) and Jean-Paul Lambert (1988).A joint paper by Drèze and Sneessens inspired Drèze and Richard Layard to lead the European Unemployment Program, which estimated a common disequilibrium model in ten countries. The results of that successful effort were to inspire policy recommendations in Europe for several years.
In Belgium, Jacques Drèze defined equilibria with price rigidities and quantity constraints and studied their properties, extending the Arrow–Debreu model of general equilibrium theory in mathematical economics. Introduced in his 1975 paper, a "Drèze equilibrium" occurs when supply (demand) is constrained only when prices are downward (upward) rigid, whereas a preselected commodity (e.g. money) is never rationed. Existence is proved for arbitrary bounds on prices. A joint paper with Pierre Dehez established the existence of Drèze equilibria with no rationing of the demand side. Stanford's John Roberts studied supply-constrained equilibria at competitive prices;similar results were obtained by Jean-Jacques Herings at Tilburg (1987, 1996). Roberts and Hering proved the existence of a continuum of Drèze equilibria. Then Drèze (113) proved existence of equilibria with arbitrarily severe rationing of supply. Next, in a joint paper with Herings and others (132), the generic existence of a continuum of Pareto-ranked supply-constrained equilibria was established for a standard economy with some fixed prices. The multiplicity of equilibria thus formalises a trade-off between inflation and unemployment, comparable to a Phillips curve. Drèze viewed his approach to macroeconomics as examining the macroeconomic consequences of Arrow–Debreu general equilibrium theory with rationing, an approach complementing the often-announced program of providing microfoundations for macroeconomics.
Disequilibrium credit rationing can occur for one of two reasons. In the presence of usury laws, if the equilibrium interest rate on loans is above the legally allowable rate, the market cannot clear and at the maximum allowable rate the quantity of credit demanded will exceed the quantity of credit supplied.
A more subtle source of credit rationing is that higher interest rates can increase the risk of default by the borrower, making the potential lender reluctant to lend at otherwise attractively high interest rates.
Labour markets are prone to particular sources of price rigidity because the item being transacted is people, and laws or social constraints designed to protect those people may hinder market adjustments. Such constraints include restrictions on who or how many people can be laid off and when (which can affect both the number of layoffs and the number of people hired by firms that are concerned by the restrictions), restrictions on the lowering of wages when a firm experiences a decline in the demand for its product, and long-term labor contracts that pre-specify wages.
Disequilibrium in one market can affect demand or supply in other markets. Specifically, if an economic agent is constrained in one market, his supply or demand in another market may be changed from its unconstrained form, termed the notional demand, into a modified form known as effective demand. If this occurs systematically for a large number of market participants, market outcomes in the latter market for prices and quantities transacted (themselves either equilibrium or disequilibrium outcomes) will be affected.
The debate between protagonists of the equilibrium paradigm and the disequilibrium paradigm has a strong ideological flavor. Proponents of one view frequently think that the alternative view is worthless or downright silly. A few years ago, one of us gave several seminars on the question of how one would test the null hypothesis that [potential data is generated] from an equilibrium as opposed to a disequilibrium specification. On some occasions (mostly in the U.S.), five minutes into the seminar it would be interrupted with the remark, 'What you are trying to do is silly, because everybody knows that prices always clear markets and therefore there is nothing to test.' At other times (mostly in Europe) the interruption took the form, 'What you are trying to do is silly, because everybody knows that prices never clear markets and therefore there is nothing to test.'
Neoclassical economics is an approach to economics focusing on the determination of goods, outputs, and income distributions in markets through supply and demand. This determination is often mediated through a hypothesized maximization of utility by income-constrained individuals and of profits by firms facing production costs and employing available information and factors of production, in accordance with rational choice theory, a theory that has come under considerable question in recent years.
In economics, general equilibrium theory attempts to explain the behavior of supply, demand, and prices in a whole economy with several or many interacting markets, by seeking to prove that the interaction of demand and supply will result in an overall general equilibrium. General equilibrium theory contrasts to the theory of partial equilibrium, which only analyzes single markets.
New Keynesian economics is a school of macroeconomics that strives to provide microeconomic foundations for Keynesian economics. It developed partly as a response to criticisms of Keynesian macroeconomics by adherents of new classical macroeconomics.
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In economics, effective demand (ED) in a market is the demand for a product or service which occurs when purchasers are constrained in a different market. It contrasts with notional demand, which is the demand that occurs when purchasers are not constrained in any other market. In the aggregated market for goods in general, demand, notional or effective, is referred to as aggregate demand. The concept of effective supply parallels the concept of effective demand. The concept of effective demand or supply becomes relevant when markets do not continuously maintain equilibrium prices.
In economics, the Pigou effect is the stimulation of output and employment caused by increasing consumption due to a rise in real balances of wealth, particularly during deflation. The term was named after Arthur Cecil Pigou by Don Patinkin in 1948.
Constantine Christos "Costas" Azariadis is a macroeconomist born in Athens, Greece. He has worked on numerous topics, such as labor markets, business cycles, and economic growth and development. Azariadis originated and developed implicit contract theory.
Monetary disequilibrium theory is a product of the monetarist school and is mainly represented in the works of Leland Yeager and Austrian macroeconomics. The basic concepts of monetary equilibrium and disequilibrium were, however, defined in terms of an individual's demand for cash balance by Mises (1912) in his Theory of Money and Credit.
Edmond Malinvaud was a French economist. He was the first president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium modeling is a method in macroeconomics that attempts to explain economic phenomena, such as economic growth and business cycles, and the effects of economic policy, through econometric models based on applied general equilibrium theory and microeconomic principles.
New classical macroeconomics, sometimes simply called new classical economics, is a school of thought in macroeconomics that builds its analysis entirely on a neoclassical framework. Specifically, it emphasizes the importance of rigorous foundations based on microeconomics, especially rational expectations.
Involuntary unemployment occurs when a person is willing to work at the prevailing wage yet is unemployed. Involuntary unemployment is distinguished from voluntary unemployment, where workers choose not to work because their reservation wage is higher than the prevailing wage. In an economy with involuntary unemployment there is a surplus of labor at the current real wage. This occurs when there is some force that prevents the real wage rate from decreasing to the real wage rate that would equilibrate supply and demand. Structural unemployment is also involuntary.
Macroeconomic theory has its origins in the study of business cycles and monetary theory. In general, early theorists believed monetary factors could not affect real factors such as real output. John Maynard Keynes attacked some of these "classical" theories and produced a general theory that described the whole economy in terms of aggregates rather than individual, microeconomic parts. Attempting to explain unemployment and recessions, he noticed the tendency for people and businesses to hoard cash and avoid investment during a recession. He argued that this invalidated the assumptions of classical economists who thought that markets always clear, leaving no surplus of goods and no willing labor left idle.
Jacques H. Drèze is a Belgian economist noted for his contributions to economic theory, econometrics, and economic policy as well as for his leadership in the economics profession. Drèze was the first President of the European Economic Association in 1986 and was the President of the Econometric Society in 1970.
Robert Wayne Clower was an American economist. He is credited with having largely created the field of stock-flow analysis in economics and with seminal works on the microfoundations of monetary theory and macroeconomics.
In macroeconomic theory, general disequilibrium is a situation in which some or all of the aggregated markets, such as the money market, the goods market, and the labor market, fail to clear because of price rigidities. In the 1960s and 1970s, economists such as Edmond Malinvaud, Robert Barro and Herschel Grossman, Axel Leijonhufvud, Robert Clower, and Jean-Pascal Benassy investigated how economic policy would impact an economy where prices did not adjust quickly to changes in supply and demand. The most notable case occurs when some external factor causes high levels of unemployment in an economy, leading to households consuming less and firms providing less employment, leading to a rationing of both goods and work hours. Studies of general disequilibrium have been considered the "height of the neoclassical synthesis" and an immediate precursor to the new Keynesian economics that followed the decline of the synthesis.
Don Patinkin was an Israeli-American monetary economist, and the President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation is a charitable foundation whose aims are to promote Finnish research in economics and medicine and to maintain and support educational and research facilities in Finland. It was established in 1954 by the wife of Yrjö Jahnsson, Hilma Jahnsson. It supports the award of the Yrjö Jahnsson Award and Yrjö Jahnsson Lecture series. These lectures have been delivered by noteworthy economists since 1963. 10 of the Yrjö Jahnsson Lecture series scholars have gone on to win the Nobel prize in economics, making it a top predictor for future recipients.
Huw David Dixon, born 1958, is a British economist. He has been a professor at Cardiff Business School since 2006, having previously been Head of Economics at the University of York (2003–2006) after being a Professor of economics there (1992–2003), and the University of Swansea (1991–1992), a Reader at Essex University (1987–1991) and a lecturer at Birkbeck College 1983–1987.
The Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) is an interdisciplinary research institute of the University of Louvain (UCLouvain) located in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. Since 2010, it is part of the Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Quantitative Modelling and Analysis (IMMAQ), along with the Institute for Economic and Social Research (IRES) and the Institute of Statistics, Biostatistics and Actuarial Sciences (ISBA).