Humans in the perfectly competitive market
Karine Nyborg ()
No 2/2019, Memorandum from Oslo University, Department of Economics
The perfectly competitive market – a hypothetical situation free of market failure – serves as a benchmark for economic theory, providing the basis for the two fundamental welfare theorems. The radical abstractions of this idea makes it hard to grasp its full implications, however. In this essay, I explore the perfectly competitive market using literary fiction. Part I discusses fiction as a tool for economic theory. Part II is a science fiction story about two economists travelling to the perfectly competitive market for their honeymoon. Part III develops main theoretical insights emerging from the story. First, to preclude market failure, complete social isolation must prevail. Second, the requirements of symmetric information and no external effects are extremely hard to reconcile, leading to an impossibility result: if trade is permitted anytime, and deliberate, welfare-relevant learning is feasible, no perfectly competitive market can exist.
Keywords: Welfare theorems; narratives; social interaction; symmetric information; complete contracts (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A11 A12 B49 D60 D62 D82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 25 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/Memora ... 019/memo-02-2019.pdf Full text (application/pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:osloec:2019_002
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Memorandum from Oslo University, Department of Economics Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mari Strønstad Øverås ().