IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Endogenous discounting and the domain of the felicity function


  • Schumacher, Ingmar


The objective is to show that endogenous discounting models should use a felicity function constrained to a positive domain. A variety of articles use the Mangasarian or Arrow and Kurz condition as a sufficient condition for optimality, which restricts felicity to a negative domain. Since the level of the felicity function shows up in the optimal path it leads to qualitatively different solutions when one uses a negative or positive felicity function. We suggest reasons why the domain should be positive. We furthermore derive sufficiency conditions for concavity of a transformed Hamiltonian if the felicity function is assumed to be positive.

Suggested Citation

  • Schumacher, Ingmar, 2011. "Endogenous discounting and the domain of the felicity function," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 574-581, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:1-2:p:574-581

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schumacher, Ingmar, 2009. "Endogenous discounting via wealth, twin-peaks and the role of technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 78-80, May.
    2. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-758.
    3. Becker, Robert A & Boyd, John H, III, 1992. "Recursive Utility and Optimal Capital Accumulation II: Sensitivity and Duality Theory," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 2(4), pages 547-563, October.
    4. Le Kama, Alain Ayong & Schubert, Katheline, 2007. "A Note On The Consequences Of An Endogenous Discounting Depending On The Environmental Quality," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 272-289, April.
    5. David Fielding & Sebastian Torres, 2009. "Health, Wealth, Fertility, Education, and Inequality," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 39-55, February.
    6. Karen Pittel, 2002. "Sustainability and Endogenous Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2776.
    7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1990. "Intertemporal dependence, impatience, and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 45-75, August.
    8. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    9. Epstein, Larry G & Hynes, J Allan, 1983. "The Rate of Time Preference and Dynamic Economic Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 611-635, August.
    10. Palivos, Theodore & Wang, Ping & Zhang, Jianbo, 1997. "On the Existence of Balanced Growth Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(1), pages 205-224, February.
    11. Das, Mausumi, 2003. "Optimal growth with decreasing marginal impatience," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 1881-1898, August.
    12. Becker, Robert A. & Boyd, John III & Sung, Bom Yong, 1989. "Recursive utility and optimal capital accumulation. I. Existence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 76-100, February.
    13. Nairay, Alain, 1984. "Asymptotic behavior and optimal properties of a consumption-investment model with variable time preference," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 283-313, September.
    14. Epstein, Larry G., 1987. "A simple dynamic general equilibrium model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 68-95, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Schumacher, Ingmar, 2009. "Endogenous discounting via wealth, twin-peaks and the role of technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 78-80, May.
    2. Schumacher, Ingmar, 2013. "Political stability, corruption and trust in politicians," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 359-369.
    3. Raouf Boucekkine & Blanca Martínez & José Ramón Ruiz-Tamarit, 2017. "Optimal Population Growth as an Endogenous Discounting Problem: The Ramsey Case," AMSE Working Papers 1731, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
    4. Six, M. & Wirl, F., 2015. "Optimal pollution management when discount rates are endogenous," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 53-70.
    5. Kawagishi, Taketo, 2014. "Investment for patience in an endogenous growth model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 508-515.
    6. repec:eee:mateco:v:73:y:2017:i:c:p:34-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hirose, K. & Ikeda, Shinsuke, 2015. "Decreasing marginal impatience destabilizes multi-country economies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 237-244.
    8. Camacho, Carmen & Saglam, Cagri & Turan, Agah, 2013. "Strategic interaction and dynamics under endogenous time preference," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 291-301.

    More about this item


    Endogenous time preference Optimality Recursive utility Felicity;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:28:y:2011:i:1-2:p:574-581. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.