Equilibria with indivisible goods and package-utilities

Danilov, Vladimir I. ; Koshevoy, Gleb A. ; Lang, Christine

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URL: http://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/2319
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-23191
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2008
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Sonderforschungsbereich 504 > Rationalitätskonzepte, Entscheidungsverhalten und ökonomische Modellierung (Laufzeit 1997 - 2008)
Subject: 330 Economics
Subject headings (SWD): Unteilbarkeit , Gut <Wirtschaft>
Keywords (English): unimodular sets , laminar families , interval collections , indivisible goods , complementarity
Abstract: We revisit the issue of existence of equilibrium in economies with indivisible goods and money, in which agents may trade many units of items. In [5] it was shown that the existence issue is related to discrete convexity. Classes of discrete convexity are characterized by the unimodularity of the allowable directions of one-dimensional demand sets. The class of graphical unimodular system can be put in relation with a nicely interpretable economic property of utility functions, the Gross Substitutability property. The question is still open as to what could be the possible, challenging economic interpretations and relevant examples of demand structures that correspond to other classes of discrete convexity. We consider here an economy populated with agents having a taste for complementarity; their utilities are generated by compounds of specific items grouped in 'packages'. Simple package-utilities translate in a straightforward fashion the fact that the items forming a package are complements. General package-utilities are obtained as the convolution (or aggregation) of simple packageutilities. We prove that if the collection of packages of items, that generates the utilities of agents in the economy, is unimodular then there exists a competitive equilibrium. Since any unimodular set of vectors can be implemented as a collection of 0-1 vectors ([3]), we get examples of demands for each class of discrete convexity.
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