IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/jecrev/v68y2017i3p333-351.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is GDP a Relevant Social Welfare Indicator? A Savers–Spenders Theory Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Emmanuel Thibault

Abstract

The use of GDP as the main index of progress and welfare of a country has been the subject of a long debate among economists. Using and extending the savers-spenders theory, we analyse the theoretical relationship between GDP and the welfare of a society. This analysis is undertaken using several different overlapping generations models which all take into account the great heterogeneity of consumer behaviour observed in the data (different labour supply choices, different degrees of altruism and/or different degrees of impatience to consume). The results indicate that GDP (per capita) is often a relevant index and is always a decent social welfare indicator.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Emmanuel Thibault, 2017. "Is GDP a Relevant Social Welfare Indicator? A Savers–Spenders Theory Approach," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 68(3), pages 333-351, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecrev:v:68:y:2017:i:3:p:333-351
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jere.12116
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballe, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2005. "Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1665-1691, August.
    2. Michel, Ph. & Pestieau, P. & Vidal, J. -P., 1998. "Labor migration and redistribution with alternative assimilation policies: The small economy case," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 363-377, May.
    3. George J. Borjas, 2021. "The Economic Benefits from Immigration," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 13, pages 411-430, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, January.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
    6. Emmanuel Thibault, 2005. "Existence and specific characters of rentiers: a savers-spenders theory approach," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 25(2), pages 401-419, February.
    7. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    8. 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.
    9. Damien Gaumont & Alice Mesnard, 2000. "Altruism and international labour migration," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 113-126.
    10. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
    11. Philippe Weil, 1987. "Love Thy Children," Post-Print hal-03393237, HAL.
    12. Lambrecht, Stephane & Michel, Philippe & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2005. "Public pensions and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-1281, July.
    13. Martin L. Weitzman, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-162.
    14. 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 467-467.
    15. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    16. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2002. "Fiscal policy with agents differing in altruism and in ability," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2002049, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    17. Galor, Oded, 1986. "Time preference and international labor migration," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-20, February.
    18. Asheim, Geir B. & Weitzman, Martin L., 2001. "Does NNP growth indicate welfare improvement?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 233-239, November.
    19. Guido Cazzavillan & Patrick A. Pintus, 2004. "Robustness of Multiple Equilibria in OLG Economies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 456-475, April.
    20. Carroll, Christopher D & Rhee, Byung-Kun & Rhee, Changyong, 1999. "Does Cultural Origin Affect Saving Behavior? Evidence from Immigrants," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 33-50, October.
    21. Emmanuel Thibault, 2001. "Labor immigration and long-run welfare in a growth model with heterogenous agents and endogenous labor supply," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 391-407.
    22. Philippe Michel & Pierre Pestieau, 2005. "Fiscal Policy with Agents Differing in Altruism and Ability," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(285), pages 121-135, February.
    23. Michel, Philippe & Thibault, Emmanuel & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2006. "Intergenerational altruism and neoclassical growth models," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1055-1106, Elsevier.
    24. Laitner, John, 2001. "Secular Changes in Wealth Inequality and Inheritance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 691-721, October.
    25. Moonjoong Tcha, 1995. "Altruism, Conflict, and the Migration Decision," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 18(3), pages 289-312, July.
    26. Pierre Pestieau & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Love thy children or money," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(1), pages 31-57, May.
    27. Smetters, Kent, 1999. "Ricardian equivalence: long-run Leviathan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 395-421, September.
    28. Sen, Amartya, 1979. "The Welfare Basis of Real Income Comparisons: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-45, March.
    29. PESTIEAU, Pierre & THIBAULT, Emmanuel, 2012. "Love thy children or money. Reflections on debt neutrality and estate taxation," LIDAM Reprints CORE 2396, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    30. MICHEL, Ph. & PESTIEAU, P., 1998. "Fiscal policy in a growth model with both altruistic and nonaltruistic agents," LIDAM Reprints CORE 1301, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    31. Swapan Dasgupta & Tapan Mitra, 1999. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product for Economic Growth and Sustainable Development," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 422-442, December.
    32. Rangazas, Peter, 1991. "Human capital investment in wealth-constrained families with two-sided altruism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 137-141, February.
    33. MICHEL, Ph. & PESTIEAU, P. & VIDAL, J.-P., 1998. "Labor migration and redistribution with alternative assimilation policies: the small economy case," LIDAM Reprints CORE 1310, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    34. Tcha, Moonjoong, 1996. "Altruism and Migration: Evidence from Korea and the United States," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(4), pages 859-878, July.
    35. Eli Berman & Zaur Rzakhanov, 2000. "Fertility, Migration, and Altruism," NBER Working Papers 7545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    36. John T. Durkin Jr., 1998. "Immigration, assimilation and growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 273-291.
    37. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
    38. Drazen, Allan, 1978. "Government Debt, Human Capital, and Bequests in a Life-Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 505-516, June.
    39. Lucas, Robert E, Jr & Rapping, Leonard A, 1969. "Real Wages, Employment, and Inflation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(5), pages 721-754, Sept./Oct.
    40. Tcha, MoonJoong, 1995. "Altruism, household size and migration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 441-445, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Emmanuel Thibault, 2001. "Labor immigration and long-run welfare in a growth model with heterogenous agents and endogenous labor supply," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 391-407.
    2. Pierre Pestieau & Emmanuel Thibault, 2012. "Love thy children or money," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(1), pages 31-57, May.
    3. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2002. "Fiscal policy with agents differing in altruism and in ability," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2002049, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    4. Michel, Philippe & Thibault, Emmanuel & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2006. "Intergenerational altruism and neoclassical growth models," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, in: S. Kolm & Jean Mercier Ythier (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Giving, Altruism and Reciprocity, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1055-1106, Elsevier.
    5. Borissov, Kirill & Kalk, Andrei, 2020. "Public debt, positional concerns, and wealth inequality," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 96-111.
    6. MICHEL, Philippe, 2003. "Public debt and limited altruism: is Ricardian equivalence possible if altruism is limited ?," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 2003008, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Thibault, Emmanuel, 2004. "The power of love," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 183-189, August.
    8. Degan, Arianna & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2016. "Dynastic accumulation of wealth," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 66-78.
    9. Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2000. "Capital Mobility in a Dynastic Framework," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 606-625, July.
    10. Lambrecht, Stephane & Michel, Philippe & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2005. "Public pensions and growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-1281, July.
    11. Dominik Grafenhofer & Christian Jaag & Christian Keuschnigg & Mirela Keuschnigg, 2005. "Probabilistic Aging," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-08, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    12. Belan Pascal & Moussault Erwan, 2020. "Inheritance Taxation in a Model with Intergenerational Time Transfers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 1-19, January.
    13. Philippe Michel & Pierre Pestieau, 1998. "Fiscal Policy in a Growth Model with Both Altruistic and Nonaltruistic Agents," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 64(3), pages 682-697, January.
    14. Stéphane Lambrecht & Philippe Michel & Emmanuel Thibault, 2006. "Capital Accumulation and Fiscal Policy in an OLG Model with Family Altruism," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(3), pages 465-486, August.
    15. Richard Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel, 2013. "Deviant generations, Ricardian equivalence, and growth cycles," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 52(1), pages 367-396, January.
    16. Robinson, James A. & Srinivasan, T.N., 1993. "Long-term consequences of population growth: Technological change, natural resources, and the environment," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1175-1298, Elsevier.
    17. Michel, Philippe & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2007. "The failure of Ricardian equivalence under dynastic altruism," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 606-614, June.
    18. Vidal, J.-P., 1999. "Capital Mobility in a Dynastic Framework," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 99a21, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
    19. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2007. "Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 813-836, April.
    20. Thibault, Emmanuel, 2016. "Demonstration effect and dynamic efficiency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 42-45.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jecrev:v:68:y:2017:i:3:p:333-351. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/jeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/jeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.