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Social Security and Growth in an Altruistic Economy


  • Berthold U. Wigger


This paper studies the macroeconomic impact of private and public intergenerational transfers in the presence of endogenous growth. It focuses on two-sided altruism implying that individuals have both a motive to make gifts to their parents and a motive to leave bequests to their children. The growth effects of social security depend on whether children are making gifts to their parents or parents are leaving bequests to their children. Which of the transfers is operative, in turn, depends on the size of social security benefits. Social security is legislated endogenously. The introduction of a social security program which definitely reduces per capita income growth and harms future generations is contemplated by altruistic individuals even if non-altruistic individuals disapprove it. Copyright Verein fü Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Berthold U. Wigger, 2002. "Social Security and Growth in an Altruistic Economy," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 53-80, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:3:y:2002:i:1:p:53-80

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    References listed on IDEAS

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