1932

Abstract

The goal of this article is to provide a general characterization of the aggregate behavior of a group in a market environment. We allow for public and private consumption, intragroup production, and consumption externalities within a group; we only assume that the group always reaches Pareto-efficient decisions. We show that aggregation problems involve a simple mathematical structure: The aggregate demand of the group, considered as a vector field, can be decomposed into a sum of gradients. We briefly introduce exterior differential calculus as a tool to study this structure. We analyze two main issues. One is testability: What restrictions (if any) on the aggregate demand function characterize the efficient behavior of the group? The second issue relates to identifiability; we investigate the conditions under which it is possible to recover the underlying structure—namely, individual preferences, the decision process, and the resulting intragroup transfers—from the group's aggregate behavior.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-072610-104803
2011-09-04
2024-06-14
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-economics-072610-104803
Loading
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error