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Economic growth and endogenous intergenerational altruism

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  • Rapoport, Hillel
  • Vidal, Jean-Pierre

Abstract

The recent literature on the endogenous formation of preferences has emphasized that while some preferences are more conducive to growth than others, economic growth also contributes to the formation of particular tastes (Becker, 1996). In this paper, we construct a neoclassical growth model where intergenerational altruism is endogenous and entails costly sacrifices on the part of parents to acquire such trait. While the acquisition of altruistic traits depends on the economic conditions, altruism determines the level of intergenerational bequests and ultimately the accumulation of physical capital and economic growth. We derive three main results from this general equilibrium framework. First, we show that individuals accumulate altruism in the long run whenever the ‘marginal degree of altruism’ is sufficiently high. Second, we find that the endogenous formation of altruism is more likely to occur at later stages of economic growth. Finally, we show that low interest rates are correlated with altruistic behavior; this is in contrast to previous research in a partial equilibrium framework (Mulligan, 1997).

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 91 (2007)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 1231-1246

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:91:y:2007:i:7-8:p:1231-1246

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

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Cited by:
  1. Pierre Pestieau & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Love thy children or money," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 31-57, May.
  2. Armellini, Mauricio & Basu, Parantap, 2010. "Altrusim. Education Subsidy and Growth," MPRA Paper 23653, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Lars Kunze, 2012. "Like Father, Like Son: Inheriting and Bequeathing," Ruhr Economic Papers 0318, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Ingmar Schumacher, 2013. "The endogenous formation of an environmental culture," CEEES Paper Series CE3S-04/13, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
  5. Juan Mora & Ana Moro-Egido, 2012. "Analyzing motives for money-transfers within families: the role of transfers for education," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 357-378, August.
  6. repec:ipg:wpaper:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Emmanuel Thibault, 2008. "Dynamic efficiency and intergenerational altruism," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(3), pages 679-687, July.
  8. Immordino, Giovanni & Padula, Mario, 2013. "Expropriation risk and discounting," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 145-156.
  9. Chen, Hung-Ju & Sultana, Rezina, 2013. "Job Reservation and Intergenerational Transmission of Preferences," MPRA Paper 45036, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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