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A characterization of inefficiency in stochastic overlapping generations economies


  • Bloise, Gaetano
  • Calciano, Filippo L.


In this paper, we provide a characterization of interim inefficiency in stochastic economies of overlapping generations. With respect to the established body of results in the literature, we allow for sequentially incomplete markets and we remove the hypothesis of two-period horizons, by considering longer, though uniformly bounded, horizons for generations. The characterization exploits a suitably Modified Cass Criterion, based entirely on observable prices and independent of the length of the horizons of generations. For sequentially incomplete markets, we introduce a notion of unambiguous inefficiency, separating the inefficient intertemporal allocation of resources from incomplete risk-sharing. Unambiguous inefficiency reduces to inefficiency when markets are sequentially complete. Furthermore, our analysis shows that the hypothesis of two-period horizons is purely heuristic in establishing a criterion for inefficiency.

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  • Bloise, Gaetano & Calciano, Filippo L., 2008. "A characterization of inefficiency in stochastic overlapping generations economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 442-468, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:143:y:2008:i:1:p:442-468

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cass, David, 1972. "On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative, neoclassical model of economic growth: A complete characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 200-223, April.
    2. Aliprantis, C. D. & Florenzano, M. & Martins-da-Rocha, V. F. & Tourky, R., 2004. "Equilibrium analysis in financial markets with countably many securities," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 683-699, September.
    3. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    4. Balasko, Yves & Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1980. "Existence of competitive equilibrium in a general overlapping-generations model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 307-322, December.
    5. Masahiro Okuno & Itzhak Zilcha, 1980. "On the Efficiency of a Competitive Equilibrium in Infinite Horizon Monetary Economies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(4), pages 797-807.
    6. Chattopadhyay, Subir & Gottardi, Piero, 1999. "Stochastic OLG Models, Market Structure, and Optimality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 21-67, November.
    7. Aliprantis, C. D. & Brown, D. J. & Polyrakis, I. A. & Werner, J., 1998. "Portfolio dominance and optimality in infinite security markets," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 347-366, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Benveniste, Lawrence M., 1976. "A complete characterization of efficiency for a general capital accumulation model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 325-337, April.
    10. Burke, Jonathan L., 1987. "Inactive transfer policies and efficiency in general overlapping-generations economies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 201-222, June.
    11. Balasko, Yves & Shell, Karl, 1980. "The overlapping-generations model, I: The case of pure exchange without money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 281-306, December.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/601 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Peled, Dan, 1991. "Dominant root characterization of Pareto optimality and the existence of optimal equilibria in stochastic overlapping generations models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 69-83, June.
    14. Geanakoplos, John D. & Polemarchakis, Heraklis M., 1991. "Overlapping generations," Handbook of Mathematical Economics,in: W. Hildenbrand & H. Sonnenschein (ed.), Handbook of Mathematical Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 35, pages 1899-1960 Elsevier.
    15. Lawrence M. Benveniste, 1986. "Pricing Optimal Distributions to Overlapping Generations: A Corollary to Efficiency Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(2), pages 301-306.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabrizio Orrego & Stephen Spear, "undated". "Sequential incompleteness and dynamic suboptimality in stochastic OLG economies with production," GSIA Working Papers 2012-E38, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    2. Bloise, Gaetano & Reichlin, Pietro, 2011. "Asset prices, debt constraints and inefficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1520-1546, July.
    3. Orrego, Fabrizio, 2011. "Sequential incompleteness and dynamic suboptimality in stochastic OLG economies with production," Working Papers 2011-014, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    4. Eisei Ohtaki & Hiroyuki Ozaki, "undated". "Optimality in a Stochastic OLG Model with Ambiguity," Working Papers e69, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    5. Becker, Robert A. & Mitra, Tapan, 2012. "Efficient Ramsey Equilibria," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(S1), pages 18-32, April.
    6. Ohtaki, Eisei, 2013. "Golden rule optimality in stochastic OLG economies," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 60-66.

    More about this item


    Stochastic overlapping generations economies Inefficiency Competitive prices Cass Criterion Social security Incomplete markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D52 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Incomplete Markets
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis


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