Abstract Without an interiority or strong survival assumption, an equilibrium may not exist in the standard Arrow–Debreu model. We propose a generalized concept of competitive equilibrium, called hierarchic equilibrium. Instead of using standard prices we use hierarchic prices. Existence will be shown without a strong survival assumption and without a non-satiation condition on the preferences. Under standard assumptions this reduces to the Walras equilibrium. Hierarchic equilibria are weakly Pareto optimal and any Pareto optimum can be decentralized without a border condition. We prove the existence of a Pareto optimal hierarchic equilibrium under additional assumptions. Later, we establish a core equivalence result.