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Parental altruism, life expectancy and dynamically inefficient equilibria

  • d'Albis, Hippolyte
  • Decreuse, Bruno

This paper presents a continuous time overlapping-generation (OLG) model which generalizes the Blanchard-Buiter-Weil model and clarifies the relationships between dynastic altruism, the length of planning horizons, and dynamic inefficiency. Our main innovation relies on the introduction of parental altruism, whose intensity is variable. We first show that parental altruism and life expectancy do favor overaccumulation. Second, we give a condition that explains why the Ramsey model may only display dynamic efficiency. These theoretical results are illustrated by a parameterization from US data. Our numerical exercises suggest that the US economy is dynamically efficient, mainly because of the shortness of life expectancy.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 11 (November)
Pages: 1897-1911

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:33:y:2009:i:11:p:1897-1911
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Abel, Andrew B., 1989. "Birth, death and taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-15, June.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
  4. Saint-Paul, G., 1991. "Fiscal Policy In An Endogenous Growth Model," DELTA Working Papers 91-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  5. Tjalling C. Koopmans, 1963. "On the Concept of Optimal Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 163, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. 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..
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  8. Okuno, Masahiro & Zilcha, Itzhak, 1980. "On the Efficiency of a Competitive Equilibrium in Infinite Horizon Monetary Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 797-807, July.
  9. Andrew B. Abel & N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1986. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Shell, Karl, 1971. "Notes on the Economics of Infinity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(5), pages 1002-11, Sept.-Oct.
  11. Balasko, Yves & Shell, Karl, 1980. "The overlapping-generations model, I: The case of pure exchange without money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 281-306, December.
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  13. Cass, David, 1972. "On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative, neoclassical model of economic growth: A complete characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 200-223, April.
  14. Weil, Philippe, 1989. "Overlapping families of infinitely-lived agents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 183-198, March.
  15. Edmond S. Phelps, 1964. "Second Essay on the Golden Rule of Accumulation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 173, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Buiter, Willem H, 1988. "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(391), pages 279-93, June.
  17. Bullard, James & Russell, Steven, 1999. "An empirically plausible model of low real interest rates and unbacked government debt," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 477-508, December.
  18. Tirole, Jean, 1985. "Asset Bubbles and Overlapping Generations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1499-1528, November.
  19. Galor, Oded & Ryder, Harl E., 1991. "Dynamic efficiency of steady-state equilibria in an overlapping-generations model with productive capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 385-390, April.
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