The Non-Existence of Representative Agents

  title={The Non-Existence of Representative Agents},
  author={Matthew O. Jackson and Leeat Yariv},
  journal={Macroeconomics: Aggregative Models eJournal},
We characterize environments in which there exists a representative agent: an agent who inherits the structure of preferences of the population that she represents. The existence of such a representative agent imposes strong restrictions on individual utility functions, requiring them to be linear in the allocation and additively separable in any parameter that characterizes agents' preferences (e.g., a risk aversion parameter, a discount factor, etc.). Commonly used classes of utility… 
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