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Approximate generalizations and computational experiments


Kübler, Felix (2007). Approximate generalizations and computational experiments. Econometrica, 75(4):967-992.

Abstract

In this paper I demonstrate how one can generalize finitely many examples to statements about (infinite) classes of economic models. If there exist upper bounds on the number of connected components of one-dimensional linear subsets of the set of parameters for which a conjecture is true, one can conclude that it is correct for all parameter values in the class considered, except for a small residual set, once one has verified the conjecture for a predetermined finite set of points. I show how to apply this insight to computational experiments and spell out assumptions on the economic fundamentals that ensure that the necessary bounds on the number of connected components exist.
I argue that these methods can be fruitfully utilized in applied general equilibrium analysis. I provide general assumptions on preferences and production sets that ensure that economic conjectures define sets with a bounded number of connected components. Using the theoretical results, I give an example of how one can explore qualitative and quantitative implications of general equilibrium models using computational experiments. Finally, I show how random algorithms can be used for generalizing examples in high-dimensional problems.

Abstract

In this paper I demonstrate how one can generalize finitely many examples to statements about (infinite) classes of economic models. If there exist upper bounds on the number of connected components of one-dimensional linear subsets of the set of parameters for which a conjecture is true, one can conclude that it is correct for all parameter values in the class considered, except for a small residual set, once one has verified the conjecture for a predetermined finite set of points. I show how to apply this insight to computational experiments and spell out assumptions on the economic fundamentals that ensure that the necessary bounds on the number of connected components exist.
I argue that these methods can be fruitfully utilized in applied general equilibrium analysis. I provide general assumptions on preferences and production sets that ensure that economic conjectures define sets with a bounded number of connected components. Using the theoretical results, I give an example of how one can explore qualitative and quantitative implications of general equilibrium models using computational experiments. Finally, I show how random algorithms can be used for generalizing examples in high-dimensional problems.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Banking and Finance
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2007
Deposited On:21 May 2014 14:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:52
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0012-9682
Additional Information:The copyright to this article is held by the Econometric Society, http://www.econometricsociety.org/. It may be downloaded, printed and reproduced only for personal or classroom use. Absolutely no downloading or copying may be done for, or on behalf of, any for-profit commercial firm or other commercial purpose without the explicit permission of the Econometric Society. For this purpose, contact Claire Sashi, General Manager, at sashi@econometricsociety.org.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2007.00779.x
Official URL:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2007.00779.x/abstract
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:3498

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