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A Mechanism of Recession that Accompanies Persistent Pareto Inefficiency

Harashima, Taiji (2020): A Mechanism of Recession that Accompanies Persistent Pareto Inefficiency.

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Abstract

Recessions are generated by various shocks. In particular, if fundamental shocks change the steady state, severe recessions will be generated. In this paper, I show that when such a shock occurs, it is possible for households to rationally select a Nash equilibrium consisting of a Pareto inefficient transition path to the new steady state in an economy in which households behave according to a procedure that is not based on the expected utilities discounted by the rate of time preference. They select this path because they are non-cooperative and risk averse and want to reach what I call the “maximum degree of comfortability” or MDC. The MDC mechanism behind choosing a Pareto inefficient path is basically the same as that in an economy in which households behave according to the usually assumed procedure based on the rational expectations hypothesis.

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