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Poverty Traps and Growth in a Model of Endogenous Time Preference

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  • Chakrabarty Debajyoti

    () (The University of Sydney, Australia)

Abstract

We introduce endogenous probability of survival in the Keynes-Ramsey optimal growth model. An individual's probability of survival is assumed to be dependent on past levels of consumption. Endogenous probability of survival implies that the rate of time preference (or degree of patience) of an individual is endogenously determined. We solve the dynamic optimization problem facing an agent and provide a complete characterization of the steady states and their stability properties. We find that with endogenous rate of time preference an economy may have multiple steady state equilibria. The equilibrium an economy converges to depends on its initial conditions. The results are interpreted in light of the growth experiences of developing economies. The model can explain why two economies that have identical production technologies and identical preferences may converge to different levels of income depending on initial conditions. We estimate the relationship between adult probability of survival and lagged consumption for a cross section of countries. Our estimation results and subsequent simulations of the model suggest that if we interpret capital in our model broadly to include both physical and human capital, poverty traps are empirically plausible.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakrabarty Debajyoti, 2012. "Poverty Traps and Growth in a Model of Endogenous Time Preference," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-35, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:12:y:2012:i:1:n:20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Iwai, Katsuhito, 1972. "Optimal economic growth and stationary ordinal utility --A fisherian approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 121-151, August.
    2. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    3. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1990. "Intertemporal dependence, impatience, and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 45-75, August.
    4. Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
    5. Masao Ogaki & Andrew Atkeson, 1997. "Rate Of Time Preference, Intertemporal Elasticity Of Substitution, And Level Of Wealth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 564-572, November.
    6. Epstein, Larry G., 1983. "Stationary cardinal utility and optimal growth under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 133-152, October.
    7. Rolf Mantel, 1998. "Optimal Economic growth with recursive preferences: decreasing rate of time preference," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 25(2 Year 19), pages 161-178, December.
    8. Costas Azariadis & Allan Drazen, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-526.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evangelos V. Dioikitopoulos & Sarantis Kalyvitis, 2015. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Endogenous Time Preference," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(6), pages 848-873, December.
    2. P R Agénor, 2005. "Health and Infrastructure in Models of Endogenous Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 62, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
    3. Meysonnat, Aline & Muysken, Joan & Zon, Adriaan van, 2015. "Poverty traps: the neglected role of vitality," MERIT Working Papers 052, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Chakrabarty, Debajyoti, 2002. "Growth and business cycles with imperfect credit markets," ZEI Working Papers B 29A-2002, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    5. Satya P. Das & Rajat Deb, 2003. "Policies to combat child labor: A dynamic analysis," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-01, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
    6. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2006. "A Theory of Infrastructure-led Development," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0640, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    7. Michel, Philippe & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2003. "Self-control and savings," Working Paper Series 211, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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