This post continues the examination of a cobweb cycle with a non-linear demand curve. In this part, I talk again about the special case examined in Section 3 of that previous post. In that case, the parameters b and e of the model are zero. Furthermore, I continue to assume c is 3/5 and d is 21/20. Figure 6 shows attracting limiting behavior for a whole range of the parameter a. The abscissa in this graph is a, with a set to unity at the right edge. The ordinate is the limiting values of the normalized quantity, Q(t). As I point out towards the right, a two-period cycle shows up on the graph as a plot of two values of the ordinate for the value of a for which that cycle is generated. One can see the period-doubling scenario leading to chaos as one moves to the left on the graph. By the way, this figure is a fractal, repeating on an infinite number of scales. It has both qualitative and quantitative universal features for a certain family of one-dimensional maps (for example, characterized by the Feigenbaum constant).
|Figure 6: Structural Dynamics of a Special Case|
The case above has both demand and supply functions through the origin in the quantity-price space. I want to consider a case in which the demand curves intersects the price axis at a strictly positive price and slopes downward in the first quadrant. Accordingly, consider the case where a is unity, b is 781/960, c is 3/5, d is 1/2, and e is zero. (I put aside questions of whether adaptive expectations make sense here or whether a partial equilibrium framework with monotonic supply and demand curves is justified - see implications of the Sonnenschein-Debreu-Mantel theorem.)
Figure 7 shows how the price and quantity evolve for selected initial values. The red line suggests the point equilibriating of supply and demand is unstable. It will never be observed in this model. Instead, the red line evolves to a two-period limit cycle. The blue line shows that points outside that cycle will evolve inward to that cycle. As a matter of fact, I chose parameter values such that Figures 2 and 3 in Section 3 of the previous post show the behavior of the normalized quantity for this case.
|Figure 7: Temporal Dynamics with All Positive Prices and Quantities|
Update (28 Sep.): A Google search on "cobweb", "chaos", and "economics" shows lots of literature, mostly behind paywalls. I notice particularly work by Barkley Rosser, Jr. and in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, which he edits. So I have reading I could do.