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General Equilibrium (Welfare Economics)

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General Equilibrium u Partial Equilibrium: Neglects the way in which changes in one market affect other (product/factor) markets. u General Equilibrium: Analyses the way in which the choices of economic agents are co-ordinated across all product and factor markets.

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Agenda u Exchange Economy –2 individuals/consumers (A and B) –2 products (X and Y) u Production Economy –2 products (X and Y) –2 factors (L and K) u General Equilibrium –2 individuals/consumers (A and B) –2 products (X and Y) –2 factors (L and K)

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Exchange Economy 2 Individuals:A and B 2 Products: Assume a world with no production and with fixed endowments of X and Y (hence the line on top of X and Y).

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Edgeworth Box 1. Look at the world from Individual A’s perspective 2. Look at the world from Individual B’s perspective 3. Combine A and B’s worlds to form an Edgeworth box

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Edgeworth Box Total amount of Individual A

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Total amount of Individual B Edgeworth Box Individual A

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Total amount of Individual B Edgeworth Box Individual A Each point within the box represents a particular allocation of the two products between the two individuals

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Pareto Efficient Allocation u Pareto Efficient Allocation: Each individual is on the highest possible indifference curve, given the indifference curve of the other individual.

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Edgeworth Box Individual A Total amount of XAXA Individual B YBYB

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Pareto Inefficient Allocation and are Pareto inefficient allocations. Why? Because there exists changes in allocations, starting from or that would make at least one individual better off without making the other individual worse off.

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Edgeworth Box Individual A Total amount of Individual B is a pareto efficient point

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Pareto Efficient Allocation At point/allocation Individual A is on the higher possible indifference curve given B’s indifference curve and Individual B is on the highest possible indifference curve given A’s indifference curve. Therefore, is a pareto efficient allocation Note: The two indifference curves are tangential to each other

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Pareto Efficient Allocations Individual A Total amount of Individual B and are also Pareto efficient allocations

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Contract Curve Individual A Total amount of Individual B Joining up these Pareto efficient points yields the contract curve

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Contract Curve u The curve connecting all Pareto efficient allocations is known as the contract curve. u At each point on the contract curve, the MRS’s for A and B are equal, i.e. MRS A xy = MRS B xy

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Market Place An “auctioneer” adjusts the product prices (P x and P y ) until the following three conditions hold: (1)(2) (3)

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Market Place: Exchange Economy Equilibrium Individual A Total amount of Individual B UBUB UAUA

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Exchange Edgeworth Box: Summary Individual A Total amount of YAYA XAXA Individual B XBXB YBYB

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Production Economy u Two firms produce two products (X and Y) u The firms use two factors of production, capital (K) and labour (L) u Assume fixed endowments of K and L.

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(Production) Edgeworth Box Firm Producing Good X Total amount of Firm Producing Good Y Y1Y1 Y0Y0 X0X0 X1X1 At the tangency points: MRTS X LK = MRTS Y LK

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(Production) Edgeworth Box Firm Producing Good X Total amount of Y* Firm Producing Good Y Y1Y1 Y0Y0 X0X0 X1X1 You can join up all these (Pareto) efficient points to form the contract curve.

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Market Place: Production Economy Equilibrium An “auctioneer” adjusts the factor prices (P l = w and P k = r) until the following three conditions hold: (1)(2) (3)

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Production Possibility Curve x y Each point on the production possibility curve is (Pareto) efficient

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Production Possibility Curve x y MRTS X LK = MRTS Y LK

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Production Possibility Curve x y Points lie inside the curve are (Pareto) inefficient

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Production Possibility Curve x y Where on the PPC? How much X and how much Y should be produced?

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Production Possibility Curve y Slope of the PPC = y/ x How many units of Y that have to given up in order to produce one more unit of X Marginal rate of product transformation (MRPT or MRT)

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General Equilibrium u Claim: In equilibrium, firms will produce at the point on the production possibility curve at which MRPT = P x /P y u If MRPT < P x /P y produce more X and less Y u If MRPT > P x /P y produce less X and more Y u [Aside: MRS xy = P x /P y MRPT xy = MRS xy ]

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y The slope of the PPF = P x /P y

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y At this point we can draw in the amount of x and y produced

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y This is the amount of x produced

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y This is the amount of y produced

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y Recall the Edgeworth box

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y Individual A Individual B

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y Individual A Individual B

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y Individual A Individual B Recall that MRS xy = P x /P y

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General Equilibrium x y P x /P y MRS = MRPT = P x /P y P x /P y UBUB UAUA

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General Equilibrium Three Conditions for General Equilibrium:

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Welfare Economics 1 st Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics: If all markets are perfectly competitive, the allocation of resources will be Pareto efficient. 2 nd Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics: Any Pareto efficient allocation can be obtained as the outcome of competitive market processes, provided that the economy's initial endowment of resources can be redistributed, via lump sum taxes and subsidies, among agents.

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