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Markets and Economic Theory
lundi 29 juin 2015

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Conférence de Gabriel Desgranges lors du colloque "Pricing, Practices, Ranking" organisé par le département de Sciences Sociales et le département d’Économie

Première session:  Prices and Markets

One main issue in economic theory is the allocation of resources among agents. On markets, resources are allocated through volontary trades by individual decision makers. Even if cognitive limits of agents can be taken into account, a decision maker is typically individually rational, meaning that he/she is endowed with preferences and makes his/her decisions accordingly (he/she makes optimal decisions with respect to an objective, for example the utility of a consumer or the profit of a firm, given all the constraints he/she faces). Considering the objectives of agents allows for a normative approach, in particular discussing the issue of Pareto efficiency of the market outcome (no reallocation allows for a unanimously preferred outcome). Prices are the key feature of markets, and they act as an informative signal (about the value of the traded commodity or other agents’ beliefs and actions, that agents can use to learn about the optimal behavior). Beyond the ideal case of perfect competition, markets can fail to deliver an efficient outcome for many reasons, including market power, externalities and various kinds of transaction costs (research costs, informational asymmetries). Dealing with these issues requires to look not only at prices but also at the set of available contracts (contracts can be incomplete, agents can be engaged in repeated, non anonymous interactions, long-term relationships).

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Gabriel Desgranges
Université de Cergy-Pontoise
Professeur des universités

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Gabriel Desgranges est professeur d'économie à l'Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

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Dernière mise à jour : 27/11/2015