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Où il est question d'Italo Calvino, de tulipes, de mariages et de quelques autres


  • Victor Ginsburgh


The author shows that it was neither Maurice Allais [1947] nor Paul Samuelson [1958] who “invented” the overlapping generations model, but the Italian writer Italo Calvino. In a short story written in 1944, all the basic elements where in place, and Calvino proves that not only, there exists an equilibrium, but also that this equilibrium is unstable to small exogenous shocks, such as an imported generation that is more honest than the existing ones. The model is extended to other situations such as the celebrated Dutch tulipmania and the Madoffmania, as well as to the stability, or rather, the instability of marriage. Classification JEL : B20, B22, B50, E13, Z11

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Ginsburgh, 2011. "Où il est question d'Italo Calvino, de tulipes, de mariages et de quelques autres," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 62(4), pages 765-772.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_624_0765

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    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B22 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Macroeconomics
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature


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