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Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-lived Governments

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  • Grossman, Gene
  • Helpman, Elhanan

Abstract

We study the politics of intergenerational redistribution in an overlapping-generations model with short-lived governments. The successive governments – who care about the welfare of the currently-living generations and possibly about campaign contributions – are unable to pre-commit the future course of redistributive taxation. In a stationary politico-economic equilibrium, the tax rate in each period depends on the current state of the economy and all expectations about future political outcomes are fulfilled. We find that multiple stationary equilibria exist in many political settings. Steady-state welfare is often lower than it would be in the absence of redistributive politics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1396.

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Date of creation: May 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1396

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Keywords: Generations; Redistribution;

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References

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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J Kehoe, 1998. "Sustainable Plans," Levine's Working Paper Archive 600, David K. Levine.
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  4. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  5. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  6. Breyer, Friedrich, 1994. "The political economy of intergenerational redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 61-84, May.
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  11. Dixit, Avinash K & Londregan, John, 1994. "The Determinants of Success of Special Interests in Redistributive Politics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  14. Leininger, Wolfgang, 1986. "The Existence of Perfect Equilibria in a Model of Growth with Altruism between Generations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 349-67, July.
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  17. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  18. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1989. "A Political Theory of Government Debt and Deficits in a Neo-Ricardian Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 713-32, September.
  19. Harrie Verbon & Marijn Verhoeven, 1992. "Decision making on pension schemes under rational expectations," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 71-97, February.
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