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Ricardian Equivalence Survives Strategic Behavior

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  • Rebelein, Robert P

Abstract

Robert Barro (1974) showed government debt has no real effects when generations are linked by altruistically motivated intergenerational transfers, a result now known widely as the Ricardian Equivalence Theorem. An important condition for debt neutrality is believed to be the absence of strategic interactions between members of different generations. I use a simple two-period, parent and child model in which the parent is altruistic, to show Ricardian equivalence holds in the presence of intergenerational strategic behavior for a broad class of utility functions. The intuition for this result derives from the fact that the child’s utility is a public good.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by in its journal Public Finance = Finances publiques.

Volume (Year): 53 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 195-228

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Handle: RePEc:pfi:pubfin:v:53:y:1998:i:2:p:195-228

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  1. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "How Strong Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Estimates of the Demand for Life Insurance and Annuities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 899-927, October.
  2. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
  3. Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
  4. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1990. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 155-65, February.
  6. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Razin, Assaf & Rosenthal, Robert W, 1990. "A Strategic Altruism Model in Which Ricardian Equivalence Does Not Hold," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1261-68, December.
  7. Seater, John J, 1993. "Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 142-90, March.
  8. Bruce, Neil & Waldman, Michael, 1991. "Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Nonpaternalistic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1345-51, December.
  9. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-82, December.
  10. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "The Ricardian Approach to Budget Deficits," Working Papers 728, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Varian, Hal R., 1994. "Sequential contributions to public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 165-186, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Rebelein, Robert P., 2005. "Intergenerational Strategic Behavior and Crowding Out in a General Equilibrium Model," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 74, Vassar College Department of Economics.

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