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Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses

  • Alonso-Carrera, Jaime
  • Caballe, Jordi
  • Raurich, Xavier

When habits are introduced multiplicatively in a capital accumulation model, the consumers' objective function might fail to be concave. In this paper we provide conditions aimed at guaranteeing the existence of interior solutions to the consumers' problem. We also characterize the equilibrium path of two growth models with multiplicative habits: the internal habit formation model, where individual habits coincide with own past consumption, and the external habit formation (or catching-up with the Joneses) model, where habits arise from the average past consumption in the economy. We show that the introduction of external habits makes the equilibrium path inefficient during the transition towards the balanced growth path. We characterize in this context the optimal tax policy.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2005)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
Pages: 1665-1691

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:49:y:2005:i:6:p:1665-1691
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E, 1990. "A Convex Model of Equilibrium Growth: Theory and Policy Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 1008-38, October.
  2. Jhy-yuan Shieh & Ching-chong Lai & Wen-ya Chang, 2000. "Addictive behavior and endogenous growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 263-273, October.
  3. Martin Lettau & Harald Uhlig, 2000. "Can Habit Formation be Reconciled with Business Cycle Facts?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 79-99, January.
  4. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
  5. Carroll, Christopher D & Overland, Jody & Weil, David N, 1997. " Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 339-67, December.
  6. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation and Equilibrium Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 231-251, 06.
  7. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  8. Walter Fisher & Franz Hof, 2000. "Relative consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 241-262, October.
  9. Manishi Prasad & Peter Wahlqvist & Rich Shikiar & Ya-Chen Tina Shih, 2004. "A," PharmacoEconomics, Springer Healthcare | Adis, vol. 22(4), pages 225-244.
  10. Abel, Andrew B., 1999. "Risk premia and term premia in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 3-33, February.
  11. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  12. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
  13. Carroll, Christopher D., 2000. "Solving consumption models with multiplicative habits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 67-77, July.
  14. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  15. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  16. 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.
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