Continua of underemployment equilibria reflecting coordination failures, also at Walrasian prices

Alessandro Citanna, Hervé Crès, Jacques Drèze, P. Jean Jacques Herings, Antonio Villanacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, the existence of unemployment is partly explained as being the result of coordination failures. It is shown that as a result of self-fulfilling pessimistic expectations, even at Walrasian prices, a continuum of equilibria results, among which an equilibrium with approximately no trade and a Walrasian equilibrium. These coordination failures also arise at other price systems, but then unemployment is the result of both a wrong price system and coordination failures. Some properties of the set of equilibria are analyzed. Generically, there exists a continuum of non-indifferent equilibrium allocations. Under a condition implied by gross substitutability, there exists a continuum of equilibrium allocations in the neighborhood of a competitive allocation, when prices are Walrasian. For a specialized economy, a dynamic illustration is offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-200
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Mathematical Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


  • C62
  • Coordination failures
  • D51
  • General equilibrium
  • Indeterminacy
  • Underemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Applied Mathematics


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