Efficiency and prices in economies of overlapping generations
In a general economy of overlapping generations, I introduce a notion of uniform inefficiency, corresponding to the occurrence of a Pareto improvement with a small uniform destruction of resources [G. Debreu, The coefficient of resource utilization, Econometrica 19 (1951) 273-292]. I provide a necessary and sufficient condition for uniform inefficiency in terms of prices at a competitive equilibrium: an allocation is uniformly inefficient if and only if the relative price of the aggregate endowment in a given period into the aggregate endowment up to that period does not vanish over periods of trade, a sort of Modified Cass Criterion [D. Cass, On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative neoclassical model of economic growth: a complete characterization, J. Econ. Theory 4 (1972) 200-223]. Minimal assumptions on fundamentals are needed for such a complete characterization. Furthermore, proofs reduce to simple and short direct arguments. Finally, I verify that uniform inefficiency is preserved under perturbations, a property that might fail for the canonical notion of inefficiency. Remarkably, an allocation is uniformly inefficient if and only if a non-vanishing redistribution, like a social security mechanism, is welfare improving.
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- Benveniste, Lawrence M, 1986. "Pricing Optimal Distributions to Overlapping Generations: A Corollary to Efficiency Pricing [A Complete Characterization of Efficiency in a General Capital Accumulation Model]," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 301-06, April.
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- Burke, Jonathan L, 1995. "Existence of a Pareto-Optimal Equilibrium in Nearly-Stationary Overlapping-Generations Economies," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 247-61, March.
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- Jonathan L. Burke, 1999. "The robustness of optimal equilibrium among overlapping generations," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 311-329.
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- Molina-Abraldes, Antonio & Pintos-Clapes, Juan, 2003. "A complete characterization of Pareto optimality for general OLG economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 235-252, December.
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