• Tönu Puu


The 2 by 2 analysis of stock trade in an Edgeworth box in Chap.  8 was just a first formalization of a problem concerning multiplicity of equilibria, path-dependence and hysteresis in markets for durables that haunted the present author for decades. In this and the following stub, we try to relax some of the most restrictive assumptions. Here we first deal with the problem of more traders than two, as a matter of fact, an arbitrary number. No such rule for trade possibilities as could be stated for two traders is obvious, so we must add some more assumptions. Let us try to decompose the multilateral exchange problem in individual deals within buyer/seller pairs each of which we already know how to handle. Once a price is announced, we can split the set of traders into buyers and sellers, and within each group order them after how much they want to exchange. This ordering also reflects how much utility the traders can expect to gain. So we can assume that the most anxious buyers somehow find the most anxious sellers, as they have the strongest incentives. Once we consider a pair of traders, we know from Chap.  8 how to deal with their exchange. Of course, there remains an excess supply/demand within each pair after exchange, and eventually the list of pairs ends. There is no guarantee that the buyers sellers are equal in numbers, so this becomes another cause for remaining excess supply/demand. We are thus ready for the next round and the auctioneer announces a new price on the basis this excess. And so it goes.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tönu Puu
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Regional Science (CERUM)Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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