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The Distribution of Wealth with Imperfect Altruism

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  • DUTTA, Jayasri

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge, UK)

  • MICHEL, Philippe

    (IUF, GREQAM, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France and CORE, Université catholique de Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Abstract

In this paper, we study the distribution of wealth in an economy with infinitely lived families. Individual generations of each family may or may not be altruistic. This is represented as a preference shock which follows a first-order Markov process within each family, a feature representing imperfect altruism. Altruistic individuals care about the welfare of their children and are likely to leave bequests; selfish ones do not. This results in a non-trivial distribution of wealth among families at any point in time. We study an economy with a risk-free, linear production technology and show that a stationary distribution of wealth exists. This distribution is discrete and approximates the pareto distribution under additional restrictions. We also charac- terize conditions on the production technology which yields perpetual growth with increasing inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 1995058.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 1995
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1995058

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  1. Benveniste, L M & Scheinkman, J A, 1979. "On the Differentiability of the Value Function in Dynamic Models of Economics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 727-32, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Abel, Andrew B & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "Fiscal Policy with Impure Intergenerational Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1687-1711, November.
  5. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  8. Mirman, Leonard J. & Zilcha, Itzhak, 1975. "On optimal growth under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 329-339, December.
  9. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  10. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-58, December.
  11. Laitner, John, 1993. "Long-run equilibria with borrowing constraints and altruism," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 65-96.
  12. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1987. "Equilibrium existence in an overlapping generations model with altruistic preferences," Working Papers 356, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Eckstein, Zvi & Eichenbaum, Martin S & Peled, Dan, 1985. "The Distribution of Wealth and Welfare in the Presence of Incomplete Annuity Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 789-806, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Degan, Arianna & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Dynastic Accumulation of Wealth," IDEI Working Papers 733, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  2. Degan, Arianna & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Dynastic Accumulation of Wealth," TSE Working Papers 12-325, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  3. Higashi, Youichiro & Hyogo, Kazuya & Takeoka, Norio, 2009. "Subjective random discounting and intertemporal choice," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(3), pages 1015-1053, May.
  4. Jorge Durán, 2003. "Discounting long run average growth in stochastic dynamic programs," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 395-413, 09.
  5. Richard Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel, 2013. "Deviant generations, Ricardian equivalence, and growth cycles," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 367-396, January.
  6. Falk, Ita & Stark, Oded, 2001. "Dynasties and Destiny: On the Roles of Altruism and Impatience in the Evolution of Consumption and Bequests," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 505-18, November.
  7. Michel, Philippe & Thibault, Emmanuel & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2006. "Intergenerational altruism and neoclassical growth models," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  8. Jordi Caballé & Luisa Fuster, 2000. "Pay-as-you-go social security and the distribution of bequests," Economics Working Papers 468, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. MoonJoong Tcha & Fiona Lio, 2002. "An Analysis of Food Aid and Altruism," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 02-19, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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