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Transfers, the terms of trade, and capital accumulation


  • Emily T. Cremers
  • Partha Sen


In the context of a two-sector overlapping-generations model it is demonstrated that a steady-state transfer paradox may arise under commodity trade with stability and without distortions or bystanders. The existence of the paradox is due to the effect of the transfer on world capital accumulation, which is shown to always (i.e., for any ranking of factor intensities and savings rates) improve the donor's terms of trade. Transfers may also improve steady-state welfare for both donor and recipient and produce paradoxical welfare results along the transition path.

Suggested Citation

  • Emily T. Cremers & Partha Sen, 2009. "Transfers, the terms of trade, and capital accumulation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1599-1616, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:42:y:2009:i:4:p:1599-1616

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cremers, Emily T. & Sen, Partha, 2008. "The transfer paradox in a one-sector overlapping generations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1995-2012, June.
    2. Polemarchakis, H M, 1983. "On the Transer Paradox," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(3), pages 749-760, October.
    3. Claustre Bajona & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2006. "Demographics in dynamic Heckscher-Ohlin models: overlapping generations versus infinitely lived consumers," Staff Report 377, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. O. Galor & H. M. Polemarchakis, 1987. "Intertemporal Equilibrium and the Transfer Paradox," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 147-156.
    5. Galor, Oded, 1992. "A Two-Sector Overlapping-Generations Model: A Global Characterization of the Dynamical System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1351-1386, November.
    6. Slobodan Djajic & Sajal Lahiri & Pascalis Raimondos-Moller, 1998. "The Transfer Problem and the Intertemporal Terms of Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 427-436, May.
    7. Brecher, Richard A. & Bhagwati, Jagdish N., 1982. "Immiserizing transfers from abroad," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3-4), pages 353-364, November.
    8. Ichiro Gombi & Shinsuke Ikeda, 2003. "Habit Formation And The Transfer Paradox," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 361-380.
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    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity


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