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CHAPTER 12 GENERAL EQUILIBRIUM AND WELFARE The problems in this chapter focus primarily on the simple two-good general equilibrium model in which “supply” is represented by the production possibility frontier and “demand” by a set of indifference curves. Because it is probably impossible to develop realistic general equilibrium problems that are tractable, students should be warned about the very simple nature of the approach used here. Specifically, none of the problems does a very good job of tying input and output markets, but it is in that connection that general equilibrium models may be most needed. The Extensions for the chapter provide a very brief introduction to computable general equilibrium models and how they are used. Problems 12.1–12.5 are primarily concerned with setting up general equilibrium conditions whereas 12.6–12.10 introduce some efficiency ideas. Many of these problems can be best explained with partial equilibrium diagrams of the two markets. It is important for students to see what is being missed when they use only a single-good model. Comments on Problems 12.1 This problem repeats examples in both Chapter 1 and 12 in which the production possibility frontier is concave (a quarter ellipse). It is a good starting problem because it involves very simple computations. 12.2 A generalization of Example 12.1 that involves computing the production possibility frontier implied by two Cobb-Douglas production functions. Probably no one should try to work out all these cases analytically. Use of computer simulation techniques may offer a better route to a solution (it is easy to program this in Excel, for example). It is important here to see the connection between returns to scale and the shape of the production possibility frontier. 12.3 This is a geometrical proof of the Rybczynski Theorem from international trade theory. Although it requires only facility with the production box diagram, it is a fairly difficult problem. Extra credit might be given for the correct spelling of the discoverer’s name. 12.4
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This note was uploaded on 11/06/2009 for the course ECON ECON111 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at Punjab Engineering College.

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