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Endogenous discounting and the domain of the felicity function

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  • Schumacher, Ingmar

Abstract

The objective is to show that endogenous discounting models should use a felicity function constrained to a positive domain. A variety of articles use the Mangasarian or Arrow and Kurz condition as a sufficient condition for optimality, which restricts felicity to a negative domain. Since the level of the felicity function shows up in the optimal path it leads to qualitatively different solutions when one uses a negative or positive felicity function. We suggest reasons why the domain should be positive. We furthermore derive sufficiency conditions for concavity of a transformed Hamiltonian if the felicity function is assumed to be positive.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 574-581

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:1:p:574-581

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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Keywords: Endogenous time preference; Optimality; Recursive utility; Felicity;

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  1. Epstein, Larry G., 1987. "A simple dynamic general equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 68-95, February.
  2. Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-58, August.
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  4. Becker, Robert A & Boyd, John H, III, 1992. "Recursive Utility and Optimal Capital Accumulation II: Sensitivity and Duality Theory," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 547-63, October.
  5. Ingmar Schumacher, 2009. "Endogenous discounting via wealth, Twin-Peaks and the role of technology," Working Papers hal-00356233, HAL.
  6. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
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  8. Le Kama, Alain Ayong & Schubert, Katheline, 2007. "A Note On The Consequences Of An Endogenous Discounting Depending On The Environmental Quality," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 272-289, April.
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  11. Nairay, Alain, 1984. "Asymptotic behavior and optimal properties of a consumption-investment model with variable time preference," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-313, September.
  12. Becker, Robert A. & Boyd, John III & Sung, Bom Yong, 1989. "Recursive utility and optimal capital accumulation. I. Existence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 76-100, February.
  13. David Fielding & Sebastian Torres, 2009. "Health, Wealth, Fertility, Education, and Inequality," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 39-55, 02.
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Cited by:
  1. Schumacher, Ingmar, 2009. "Endogenous discounting via wealth, twin-peaks and the role of technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 78-80, May.
  2. Schumacher, Ingmar, 2013. "Political stability, corruption and trust in politicians," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 359-369.
  3. Camacho, Carmen & Saglam, Cagri & Turan, Agah, 2013. "Strategic interaction and dynamics under endogenous time preference," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 291-301.

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