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Essays in the theory and application of duality in economics Appelbaum, Eliezer

Abstract

This thesis focusses on three areas in the theory and application of duality in economics. First, I integrate duality and dynamic optimization theories in the context of optimal economic growth. I demonstrate the possibility of control through prices and the equivalence of the centralized and decentralized solutions. To develop the dynamic duality relation I apply the duality between production possibilities sets and profit functions. An application is also given in the context of investment theory. Second, I develop, discuss and interpret tests for the static duality theory. Finally, I drop the perfect competition assumption and apply duality to the theory of a non-competitive firm. I investigate the extent to which the propositions in duality theory remain valid for non-competitive firms and provide a framework that permits the identification of different market structures. Within this framework I estimate the technology of a monopolistic industry and test for the price taking behaviour hypothesis.

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