Can every allocation in the core of an economy be decentralized by a suitably chosen price system? Werner Hildenbrand shows that the answer is yes if the economy has “many” participating agents and if the influence of every individual agent on collective actions is “negligible.” To give a general and precise definition of economics with this property he considers both economies with a continuum of agents, and a sequence of economies with an increasing number of participants. In both cases this leads to a measure theoretic formulation of economic equilibrium analysis.
In the first part of the book the relevant mathematics is developed. In the second part the continuity and convexity properties of the total demand of a consumption sector are investigated. An important result is the equivalence between the core and the set of Walras equilibria for an exchange economy with a continuum of agents. The author then deals with limit theorems on the core for purely competitive sequences of exchange economies. In the last chapter the core and the set of Walras equilibria for a coalition production economy and the relation between these two equilibrium concepts are studied.
Originally published in 1974.
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