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A Dynamic Model of Altruistically-Motivated Transfers

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  • Daniel Barczyk

    (McGill University)

  • Matthias Kredler

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

This paper studies a dynamic Markovian game of two infinitely-lived altruistic agents without commitment. Players can save, consume and give transfers to each other. We identify a continuum of equilibria in which imperfectly-altruistic agents act as if they were a perfectly-altruistic dynasty which is less patient than the two agents themselves. In such equilibria, the poor agent receives transfers until both effectively pool their wealth and tragedy-of-the-commons-type inefficiencies occur. We also provide a sharp characterization of strategic interactions in consumption and transfer behavior. This provides new insights relative to existing two-period models. It allows us to differentiate between the Samaritan's dilemma - e.g. a child runs down its assets inefficiently fast in anticipation of transfers - and what we refer to as the Prodigal-Son dilemma - e.g. parents do not leave an early bequest, anticipating a child's profligate behavior. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 303-328

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:12-193

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Related research

Keywords: consumption-saving decisions; inter-vivos transfers; altruism; differential games;

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References

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  1. Daniel Barczyk, 2013. "Deficits, Gifts, and Bequests," 2013 Meeting Papers 25, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1986. "The Rotten-Kid Theorem Meets the Samaritan's Dilemma," Working Papers 650, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
  5. Luisa Fuster & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu, 2007. "Elimination of Social Security in a Dynastic Framework," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 113-145.
  6. Shinichi Nishiyama, 2002. "Bequests, Inter Vivos Transfers, and Wealth Distribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 892-931, October.
  7. Laitner, John, 1992. "Random earnings differences, lifetime liquidity constraints, and altruistic intergenerational transfers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 135-170, December.
  8. Maurizio Mazzocco, 2007. "Household Intertemporal Behaviour: A Collective Characterization and a Test of Commitment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 857-895.
  9. Dockner,Engelbert J. & Jorgensen,Steffen & Long,Ngo Van & Sorger,Gerhard, 2000. "Differential Games in Economics and Management Science," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637329, April.
  10. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Fernandes, Ana, 2012. "A Closed-Form Solution To A Model Of Two-Sided, Partial Altruism," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 230-239, April.
  12. repec:fth:stanho:e-88-35 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Laitner, John, 1988. "Bequests, Gifts, and Social Security," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 275-99, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Barczyk, 2013. "Deficits, Gifts, and Bequests," 2013 Meeting Papers 25, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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