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Public debt and limited altruism: is Ricardian equivalence possible if altruism is limited ?

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  • MICHEL, Philippe

Abstract

There have been many criticisms of Barro's theorem on Ricardian equivalence, but these criticisms apply mainly to a "special form" of Barro's model and there are different possible interpretations of this model. We study another very simple model in which altruism is limited. The effects of public debt are studied under two different types of assumptions. The first type of assumptions is standard: young agents buy the government bonds which are perfect substitutes to the assets of firms. This leads to the "traditional" effects of public debt: it increases current consumptions and decreases future capital stocks. Alternatively, we assume that agents apply a special rule called the "patriarchal rule". If agents expect that their children will apply it, then it is rational for them to apply it. This rule leads to a robust property of Ricardian equivalence.

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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 2003008.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2003008

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Keywords: public debt; altruism; ricardian equivalence;

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  1. Michel, Philippe & Thibault, Emmanuel & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2006. "Intergenerational altruism and neoclassical growth models," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  2. Andrew B. Abel, 1988. "Operative Gift and Bequest Motives," NBER Working Papers 2331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. LAMBRECHT, Stéphane & MICHEL, Philippe & VIDAL, Jean-Pierre, . "Public pensions and growth," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1820, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Andrew B. Abel & Mark Warshawsky, 1987. "Specification of the Joy of Giving: Insights from Altruism," NBER Working Papers 2154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. de la Croix,David & Michel,Philippe, 2002. "A Theory of Economic Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521001151, October.
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  8. B. Douglas Bernheim & Kyle Bagwell, 1989. "Is Everything Neutral?," NBER Working Papers 2086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Weil, Philippe, 1987. "Love thy children : Reflections on the Barro debt neutrality theorem," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 377-391, May.
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  16. Kimball, Miles S., 1987. "Making sense of two-sided altruism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 301-326, September.
  17. Lambrecht, S. & Michel, P. & Thibault, E., 2000. "Intertemporal Equilibrium with Myopic Altruism," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 00a24, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  18. Carmichael, Jeffrey, 1982. "On Barro's Theorem of Debt Neutrality: The Irrelevance of Net Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 202-13, March.
  19. Emmanuel Thibault, 2000. "Existence of equilibrium in an OLG model with production and altruistic preferences," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 709-715.
  20. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
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