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Poverty Traps and Growth in a Model of Endogenous Time Preference

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  • Chakrabarty Debajyoti

    ()
    (The University of Sydney, Australia)

Abstract

We introduce endogenous probability of survival in the Keynes-Ramsey optimal growth model. An individual's probability of survival is assumed to be dependent on past levels of consumption. Endogenous probability of survival implies that the rate of time preference (or degree of patience) of an individual is endogenously determined. We solve the dynamic optimization problem facing an agent and provide a complete characterization of the steady states and their stability properties. We find that with endogenous rate of time preference an economy may have multiple steady state equilibria. The equilibrium an economy converges to depends on its initial conditions. The results are interpreted in light of the growth experiences of developing economies. The model can explain why two economies that have identical production technologies and identical preferences may converge to different levels of income depending on initial conditions. We estimate the relationship between adult probability of survival and lagged consumption for a cross section of countries. Our estimation results and subsequent simulations of the model suggest that if we interpret capital in our model broadly to include both physical and human capital, poverty traps are empirically plausible.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 1-35

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:20

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  1. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
  2. Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Stationary cardinal utility and optimal growth under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 133-152, October.
  3. Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
  4. Rolf Mantel, 1998. "Optimal Economic growth with recursive preferences: decreasing rate of time preference," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 25(2 Year 19), pages 161-178, December.
  5. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  6. Masao Ogaki & Andrew Atkeson, 1997. "Rate Of Time Preference, Intertemporal Elasticity Of Substitution, And Level Of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 564-572, November.
  7. Iwai, Katsuhito, 1972. "Optimal economic growth and stationary ordinal utility --A fisherian approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 121-151, August.
  8. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1990. "Intertemporal dependence, impatience, and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 45-75, August.
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Cited by:
  1. P R Agénor, 2005. "Health and Infrastructure in Models of Endogenous Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 62, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  2. Chakrabarty, Debajyoti, 2002. "Growth and business cycles with imperfect credit markets," ZEI Working Papers B 29A-2002, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  3. Michel, Philippe & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2003. "Self-control and savings," Working Paper Series 0211, European Central Bank.
  4. Satya P. Das & Rajat Deb, 2003. "Policies to combat child labor: A dynamic analysis," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.

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