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Other-Regarding Uzawa Preferences And Living Standard Catch-Up

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  • Ross S. Guest
  • Ian M. McDonald

Abstract

This paper provides a new rationale for Uzawa preferences based on social choice; instead of positing that poor people are more patient because they are poor, it posits that poor people should be more patient if they wish their living standards to catch up with richer people. To provide a setting for this new rationale, the present paper studies the socially optimal choice of living standards over time by social planners for countries that, from low levels of total factor productivity (TFP), experience a gradual catch-up of their TFP level with that of the leader country. In the TFP catch-up scenario, the socially optimal choice of consumption and saving based on time additive preferences leads to no catch-up of living standards. To generate living standard catch-up we propose other-regarding Uzawa preferences, in which the rate of time preference is influenced by the gap in living standards between follower country and leader country. This other-regarding specification is consistent with recent findings emphasized in behavioural economics. The other-regarding Uzawa preferences form is illustrated quantitatively by simulating a model of the world economy. Copyright 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation 2010 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Pacific Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 15 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 87-115

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Handle: RePEc:bla:pacecr:v:15:y:2010:i:1:p:87-115

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=1361-374X

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  1. repec:fth:harver:1490 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Guest, Ross S & McDonald, Ian M, 2001. "Ageing, Optimal National Saving and Future Living Standards in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(237), pages 117-34, June.
  3. Douglas W. Elmendorf & Louise M. Sheiner, 2000. "Should America Save for Its Old Age? Fiscal Policy, Population Aging, and National Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 57-74, Summer.
  4. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Miles, David K, 1997. "Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change Upon the Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Kyung-Mook Lim & David N. Weil, 2003. "The Baby Boom and the Stock Market Boom," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 359-378, 09.
  8. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
  9. Ross Guest & Ian Mcdonald, 2003. "Vintage versus homogeneous capital in simulations of population ageing: does it matter?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 149-153.
  10. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  11. Robert E. Lucas, 2000. "Some Macroeconomics for the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 159-168, Winter.
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