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Population Ageing, Government Budgets, and Productivity Growth in Politico-Economic Equilibrium

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  • Gonzalez-Eiras, Martin
  • Niepelt, Dirk

Abstract

We analyze the effect of changes in fertility and longevity on taxes, the composition of government spending, and productivity. To that purpose, we introduce politics in an OLG economy with endogenous growth due to human and physical capital accumulation. Population ageing shifts political power from students and workers to retirees, leading to a reallocation of resources from education spending to retirement benefits and a slowdown of productivity growth. Calibrated to U.S. data, the closed-form solutions of the model predict retirement benefits as a share of GDP to strongly increase over the next decades and the education share to fall. This effect depresses the annual productivity growth rate by 10 basis points. In spite of higher labor-income taxes, per-capita labour supply is predicted to rise, as a consequence of increased life expectancy. The equilibrium allocation is consumption and production efficient, but the political process allocates a much smaller share of resources to eduction than a Ramsey planner with balanced welfare weights.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6581.

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Date of creation: Nov 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6581

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Keywords: government budget; growth; labour supply; public education; transfers;

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References

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  1. Mulligan Casey B & Sala-i-Martin Xavier, 2004. "Internationally Common Features of Public Old-Age Pensions, and Their Implications for Models of the Public Sector," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-37, May.
  2. Martín Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2012. "Economic and Politico-Economic Equivalence of Fiscal Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 3718, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Martin Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," 2004 Meeting Papers 199, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Michele Boldrin & Ana Montes, 2004. "The intergenerational state: education and pensions," Staff Report 336, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governments," NBER Working Papers 5447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. John Y. Campbell & Luis Viceira, 2005. "The Term Structure of the Risk-Return Tradeoff," NBER Working Papers 11119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  8. Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: Why Is Social Security Good for the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 813-834, June.
  9. Thomas J. Sargent & Marco Bassetto, 2004. "Politics and Efficiency of Separating Capital and Ordinary Government Budgets," 2004 Meeting Papers 3, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni, 1999. "Is Social Security Really Bad for Growth?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 796-819, October.
  11. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  12. Martin Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2007. "The Future of Social Security," Working Papers 07.02, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  13. William F. Blankenau & Nicole B. Simpson & Marc Tomljanovich, 2007. "Public Education Expenditures, Taxation, and Growth: Linking Data to Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 393-397, May.
  14. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
  15. 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.
  16. repec:fth:prinin:334 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Perotti, Roberto, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 755-76, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dirk Niepelt & Martin Gonzalez-Eiras, 2010. "Ageing, Government Budgets, Retirement, and Growth," 2010 Meeting Papers 69, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Kuehnel, Johanna, 2011. "Population Aging, the Composition of Government Spending,and Endogenous Economic Growth in Politico-Economic Equilibrium," Working Papers 0510, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  3. Çagaçan Deger, 2008. "Pension Reform in an OLG Model with Multiple Social Security Systems," ERC Working Papers 0805, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised Oct 2008.

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