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Gerontocracy revisited: unilateral transfer to the young may benefit the middle-aged

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  • Poutvaara, Panu

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom, intergenerational transfers can survive, in the absence of altruism, only if the old are net recipients. I prove that this need not hold in an overlapping generations model with a fixed factor. For example, the middle-aged owning land may gain by providing public education even when they cannot tax the young and when the young face no credit market constraints. This requires that labor is not mobile. Furthermore, establishing public education may benefit only the generation which pays for education twice, first for itself and then for the next generation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (January)
Pages: 161-174

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:1-2:p:161-174

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Salant, David J., 1991. "A repeated game with finitely lived overlapping generations of players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 244-259, May.
  2. Konrad, Kai A, 1995. "Social Security and Strategic Inter-vivos Transfers of Social Capital," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 315-26, August.
  3. Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Asset Bubbles and Overlapping Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1499-1528, November.
  4. Cremer, Helmuth & Kessler, Denis & Pestieau, Pierre, 1992. "Intergenerational transfers within the family," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-16, January.
  5. Antonio Rangel, 1999. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: A Theory of Intergenerational Exchange," Working Papers 00001, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  6. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
  7. Stefan Homburg, 1991. "Interest and Growth in an Economy with Land," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 450-59, May.
  8. Smith, Lones, 1992. "Folk theorems in overlapping generations games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 426-449, July.
  9. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  10. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
  11. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Repeated Games Played by Overlapping Generations of Players," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 81-92, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Köthenbürger, Marko & Poutvaara, Panu, 2006. "Social security reform and investment in education: Is there scope for a Pareto improvement?," Munich Reprints in Economics 19487, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Marko Köthenbürger & Panu Poutvaara, 2007. "Rent Taxation and its Intertemporal Welfare Effects in a Small Open Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2158, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Gersbach, Hans & Siemers, Lars, 2005. "Land Reforms and Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe & Guadalupe Valera, 2012. "Social security reform and the support for public education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 609-634, January.
  5. Gersbach, Hans & Siemers, Lars, 2005. "Can Democracy Educate a Society?," IZA Discussion Papers 1693, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Torben M. Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 2013. "The Intergenerational Welfare State," CESifo Working Paper Series 4359, CESifo Group Munich.

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