Constructing pure-exchange economies with many equilibria

Pascal Gauthier, Timothy J. Kehoe, Erwan Quintin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We develop a restart algorithm based on Scarf’s (The Computation of Economic Equilibria, Yale University Press, 1973) algorithm for computing approximate Brouwer fixed points. We use the algorithm to compute all of the equilibria of a general equilibrium pure-exchange model with four consumers, four goods, and 15 equilibria. The mathematical result that motivates the algorithm is a fixed-point index theorem that provides a sufficient condition for uniqueness of equilibrium and a necessary condition for multiplicity of equilibria. Examining the structure of the model with 15 equilibria provides us with a method for constructing higher dimensional models with even more equilibria. For example, using our method, we can construct a pure-exchange economy with eight consumers and eight goods that has (at least) 255 equilibria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-564
Number of pages24
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Computation of equilibrium
  • Multiplicity of equilibrium
  • Uniqueness of equilibrium


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