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Fiscal Policy with Impure Intergenerational Altruism

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  • Abel, Andrew B
  • Bernheim, B Douglas

Abstract

Recent work demonstrates that dynastic assumptions guarantee the irrelevance of redistributional policies, distortionary taxes, and prices--the neutrality of fiscal policy (Ricardian equivalence) is only the "tip of the iceberg." This paper investigates the possibility of reinstating approximate Ricardian equivalence by introducing a small amount of friction in intergenerational links. If Ricardian equivalence depends upon significantly shorter chains of links than do these stronger neutrality results, then friction may dissipate the effects that generate strong neutrality, without significantly affecting the Ricardian result. However, models with friction have other untenable implications and, thus, the theoretical case for Ricardian equivalence remains tenuous. Copyright 1991 by The Econometric Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 59 (1991)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 1687-1711

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:59:y:1991:i:6:p:1687-1711

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  1. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-77, June.
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Cited by:
  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Sergei Severinov, 2000. "Bequests as Signals: An Explanation for the Equal Division Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 7791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Preston J. Miller & William Roberds, 1989. "How little we know about budget policy effects," Working Paper 89-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. DUTTA, Jayasri & MICHEL, Philippe, 1995. "The Distribution of Wealth with Imperfect Altruism," CORE Discussion Papers 1995058, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. CORNES, Richard & ITAYA, Jun-ichi & TANAKA, Aiko, 2007. "Private Provision of Public Goods between Families," Discussion paper series. A 194, Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration, Hokkaido University.
  5. Sáez-Martí, María & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2002. "Discounting and Future Selves," Working Paper Series 575, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
  7. Jorge E. Ara�a & Carmelo J. León, 2002. "Willingness to pay for health risk reduction in the context of altruism," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(7), pages 623-635.
  8. Uhlig, Harald & Yanagawa, Noriyuki, 1996. "Increasing the capital income tax may lead to faster growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1521-1540, November.
  9. Daniel Barczyk, 2013. "Deficits, Gifts, and Bequests," 2013 Meeting Papers 25, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Richard N. Vaughan, . "Intergenerational Altruism, Ricardian Equivalence and the Relevance of Distributional Policy," ELSE working papers 052, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  11. Ley, Eduardo, 1997. "Optimal provision of public goods with altruistic individuals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 23-27, January.
  12. Smetters, Kent, 1999. "Ricardian equivalence: long-run Leviathan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 395-421, September.
  13. Richard Howarth & Richard Norgaard, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers and the social discount rate," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(4), pages 337-358, August.
  14. Philippe Méral, 1998. "Future generations and economic activities: The case of the social discount rate," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 1-14, March.
  15. Severinov, Sergei, 2006. "Bequests as signals: Implications for fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1995-2008, November.
  16. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "Intergenerational Altruism and Social Welfare: A Critique of the Dynastic Model," NBER Working Papers 2288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Preston J. Miller & William Roberds, 1992. "How little we know about deficit policy effects," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  18. Uhlig, H. & Yanagawa, N., 1994. "Increasing the Capital Income Tax Leads to Faster Growth," Discussion Paper 1994-115, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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