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Keeping up with the ageing Joneses

  • Fisher, Walter H.
  • Heijdra, Ben J.

In this paper we consider the implications of relative consumption externalities in the Blanchard-Yaari overlapping generations framework. Unlike most of the macroeconomic literature that studies this question, the differences between agents, and, thus, in their relative position, persist in equilibrium. We show in our fixed employment model that consumption externalities lower consumption and the capital stock in long-run equilibrium, a result in sharp contrast to the recent findings of Liu and Turnovsky [2005. Consumption externalities, production externalities, and the accumulation of capital. Journal of Public Economics 89, 1097-1129]. In addition, we solve for the intertemporal path of the economy to investigate its response to demographic shocks, specifically, to permanent changes in the birth and death rates.

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

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 53-64

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:33:y:2009:i:1:p:53-64
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  4. Heijdra, Ben J. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2004. "The macroeconomic dynamics of demographic shocks," CCSO Working Papers 200403, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
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  18. Van Long, Ngo & Shimomura, Koji, 2004. "Relative wealth, status-seeking, and catching-up," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 529-542, April.
  19. Wen-Fang Liu & Stephen Turnovsky, 2003. "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities, and the Accumulation of Capital," Working Papers UWEC-2002-13-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
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  24. Walter Fisher & F. Hof, 2008. "The quest for status and endogenous labor supply: the relative wealth framework," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(2), pages 109-144, March.
  25. Bettendorf, Leon J.H. & Heijdra, Ben J., 2006. "Population ageing and pension reform in a small open economy with non-traded goods," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2389-2424, December.
  26. Heijdra, Ben J. & Romp, Ward E., 2009. "Retirement, pensions, and ageing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 586-604, April.
  27. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
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