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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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  1. Ben J. Heijdra & Ward E. Romp, 2006. "Ageing and Growth in the Small Open Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1740, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Goncalo Monteiro & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2004. "Habit Formation, Catching Up with the Joneses, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 47-80, 03.
  3. Turnovsky, Stephen J. & Monteiro, Goncalo, 2007. "Consumption externalities, production externalities, and efficient capital accumulation under time non-separable preferences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 479-504, February.
  4. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
  5. A. Bovenberg & Ben Heijdra, 2002. "Environmental Abatement and Intergenerational Distribution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 45-84, September.
  6. Heijdra, Ben J. & Romp, Ward E., 2009. "Retirement, pensions, and ageing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 586-604, April.
  7. Walter H. Fisher, 2004. "Status Preference, Wealth and Dynamics in the Open Economy," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(3), pages 335-355, 08.
  8. Ngo Van Long & Koji Shimomura, 2002. "Relative Wealth, Status Seeking, and Catching Up," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-09, CIRANO.
  9. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  10. Andrew B. Abel, . "Asset Prices Under Habit Formation and Catching Up With the Jones," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 01-90, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  11. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
  12. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2001. "On relative-wealth effects and long-run growth," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 349-358, December.
  13. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
  14. Heijdra, Ben J. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2006. "The Macroeconomic Dynamics Of Demographic Shocks," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 349-370, June.
  15. Gene M. Grossman (ed.), 0. "Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 553.
  16. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  17. 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.
  18. Michael Rauscher, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 35-42, February.
  19. Leon Bettendorf & Ben Heijdra, 2005. "Population Ageing and Pension Reform in a Small Open Economy with Non-Traded Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-021/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  20. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2001. " Status, the Distribution of Wealth, and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 283-93, June.
  21. Heijdra, Ben J. & Romp, Ward E., 2005. "A Life-Cycle Overlapping-Generations Model of the Small Open Economy," Research Report 05C04, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  22. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 1994. "The Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C94-044, University of California at Berkeley.
  23. Futagami, Koichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1998. "Keeping one step ahead of the Joneses: Status, the distribution of wealth, and long run growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 109-126, July.
  24. Gali, J., 1992. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices," Papers 92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  25. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1984. "Debt, Deficits and Finite Horizons," NBER Working Papers 1389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. repec:oup:restud:v:40:y:1973:i:1:p:1-33 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  28. Buiter, Willem H., 1984. "Fiscal Policy in Open, Interdependent Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 28, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  30. repec:oup:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:1:p:21-42 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Fisher, Walter H. & Hof, Franz X., 2001. "Status Seeking in the Small Open Economy," Economics Series 106, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  32. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-32, March.
  36. Walter Fisher & Franz Hof, 2000. "Relative consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 241-262, October.
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