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Generational Conflict, Human Capital Accumulation, and Economic Growth

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Abstract

Worldwide, dependency ratios are forecast to increase dramatically in the next 50 years. A great deal of attention has been devoted to understanding the changes in fiscal policies that "must" take place to accommodate these changes. In contrast, less effort has been concentrated on studying the fiscal shifts that will endogenously result from deographic pressures. An example of particular interest is the degree to which a more elderly population will support public spending for education. We use an overlapping-generations model to investigate the effect of this demographic transition on the endogenous determination of public spending for education. A demographic transition alters the identity of the median voter, leading to a preference for less education spending. If the public sector is inefficiently small, demographic transition exacerbates the underprovision of human capital. Alternatively, such a shift may trim an inefficiently large government, reduce tax rates, and raise capital per worker enough to raise education spending. Thus, there is no automatic link between demographic transition and reduced support for those programs whose benefits are concentrated among the young.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 28.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:28

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  1. Wright, Randall, 1996. "Taxes, redistribution, and growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 327-338, November.
  2. Lex Meijdam & Harrie Verbon, 1996. "Aging and political decision making on public pensions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 141-158, June.
  3. Coronado Julia Lynn & Fullerton Don & Glass Thomas, 2011. "The Progressivity of Social Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-45, November.
  4. Kaganovich, M & Zilcha, I, 1997. "Education, Social Security and Growth," Papers 1-97, Tel Aviv.
  5. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1993. "Demographics, Political Power and Economic Growth," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 48(Supplemen), pages 349-65.
  6. Bovenberg, A. Lans & van Ewijk, Casper, 1997. "Progressive taxes, equity, and human capital accumulation in an endogenous growth model with overlapping generations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 153-179, May.
  7. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Louise M. Sheiner & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "An Aging Society: Opportunity or Challenge?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 1-74.
  8. Guido Enrico Tabellini & Torsten Persson, 1991. "Growth, Distribution and Politics," IMF Working Papers 91/78, International Monetary Fund.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1996. "Endogenous public policy and multiple equilibria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 653-662, April.
  11. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E., 1996. "Ends against the middle: Determining public service provision when there are private alternatives," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 297-325, November.
  12. Brueckner, Jan K, 1999. " Fiscal Federalism and Capital Accumulation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(2), pages 205-24.
  13. 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.
  14. repec:fth:harver:1490 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Poutvaara, Panu, 2006. "On the political economy of social security and public education," Munich Reprints in Economics 19551, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Mehmet Serkan Tosun, 2000. "Worldwide Population Aging: Endogenous Policy Formation and Capital Market Transmissions in the Presence of Symmetric Demographic Shocks," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 27, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  3. Radhika Lahiri & Elisabetta Magnani, 2008. "On inequality and the allocation of public spending," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 5(9), pages 1-8.

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