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The Macroeconomics of TANSTAAFL

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  • Volker Grossmann
  • Thomas Steger
  • Timo Trimborn

Abstract

This paper shows that dynamic inefficiency can occur in dynamic general equilibrium models with fully optimizing, infinitely-lived households even in a situation with underinvestment. We identify necessary conditions for such a possibility and illustrate it in a standard R&D-based growth model. Calibrating the model to the US, we show that a moderate increase in the R&D subsidy indeed leads to an intertemporal free lunch (i.e., an increase in per capita consumption at all times). Hence, Milton Friedman’s conjecture There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL) may not apply.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-11/cesifo1_wp3651.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3651.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3651

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Keywords: intertemporal free lunch; dynamic inefficiency; R&D-based growth; transitional dynamics;

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References

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  1. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Dynamically Optimal R\& D Subsidization," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-453, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  2. Andrew Abel & Gregory N. Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard Zeckhauser, . "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  4. Martinet, Vincent, 2011. "A characterization of sustainability with indicators," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 183-197, March.
  5. Norrbin, S.C., 1993. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry: A Contradiction," Working Papers 1993_05_04, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  6. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, . "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Working Papers 95006, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  7. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy," Diskussionspapiere der Wirtschaftswissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Leibniz Universität Hannover dp-440, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  8. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 2005. "Growth with Quality-Improving Innovations: An Integrated Framework," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 67-110 Elsevier.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Juin-jen Chang & Chun-chieh Huang & Hsiao-wen Hung, 2011. "Monopoly Power, Increasing Returns to Variety, and Local Indeterminacy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 384-388, April.
  11. Charles I. Jones, 2004. "Growth and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 10767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping Generations: The First Jubilee," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 115-34, Fall.
  13. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Karl-Josef Koch & Timo Trimborn & Thomas M. Steger, 2005. "Multi-Dimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numerical Procedure," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 121-05, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  15. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  16. Ngo Van Long & Vincent Martinet, 2012. "Combining Rights and Welfarism: A New Approach to Intertemporal Evaluation of Social Alternatives," CESifo Working Paper Series 3746, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M., 2012. "Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity," Working Papers 117, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  18. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  19. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  20. Cass, David, 1972. "On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative, neoclassical model of economic growth: A complete characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 200-223, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Casajus, André & Hüttner, Frank, 2012. "Nullifying vs. dummifying players or nullified vs. dummified players: The difference between the equal division value and the equal surplus division value," Working Papers 110, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  2. Schäfer, Andreas & Steger, Thomas, 2012. "Journey into the unknown? Economic consequences of factor market integration under increasing returns to scale," Working Papers 107, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  3. Quaas, Georg, 2012. "Ein Nelson-Winter-Modell der deutschen Volkswirtschaft," Working Papers 112, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  4. Quaas, Georg & Köster, Robert, 2012. "Ein Modell für die Wirtschaftszweige der deutschen Volkswirtschaft: Das "MOGBOT" (Model of Germany's Branches of Trade)," Working Papers 106, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  5. Casajus, André, 2012. "The Shapley value without efficiency and additivity," Working Papers 114, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  6. Gawel, Erik, 2013. "Neuordnung der W-Besoldung: Ausgestaltung und verfassungsrechtliche Probleme der Komsumtionsregeln zur Anrechnung von Leistungsbezügen," Working Papers 115, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  7. Casajus, André, 2012. "Solidarity and fair taxation in TU games," Working Papers 111, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  8. Casajus, André & Huettner, Frank, 2013. "Null players, solidarity, and the egalitarian Shapley values," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 58-61.
  9. Prettner, Klaus & Werner, Katharina, 2014. "Human capital, basic research, and applied research: Three dimensions of human knowledge and their differential growth effects," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 186, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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