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Gifts, Bequests, and Growth


  • Wigger, Berthold U.


A familiar result in the theory of private intergenerational transfers is that competitive equilibria with gifts from children to their parents are dynamically inefficient whereas they are dynamically efficient with bequests from parents to their children. This note demonstrates that if growth is endogenous, both gift and bequest economies are dynamically efficient, but gift economies grow more rapidly.
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Suggested Citation

  • Wigger, Berthold U., 2001. "Gifts, Bequests, and Growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 121-129, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:23:y:2001:i:1:p:121-129

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Abel, Andrew B, 1987. "Operative Gift and Bequest Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1037-1047, December.
    3. Gilles Saint-Paul, 1992. "Fiscal Policy in an Endogenous Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1243-1259.
    4. Kimball, Miles S., 1987. "Making sense of two-sided altruism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 301-326, September.
    5. O'Connell, Stephen A. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1993. "Dynamic efficiency in the gifts economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 363-379, June.
    6. Grossman, Gene M. & Yanagawa, Noriyuki, 1993. "Asset bubbles and endogenous growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 3-19, February.
    7. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    8. King, Ian & Ferguson, Don, 1993. "Dynamic inefficiency, endogenous growth, and Ponzi games," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 79-104, August.
    9. Carmichael, Jeffrey, 1982. "On Barro's Theorem of Debt Neutrality: The Irrelevance of Net Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 202-213, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Atsue Mizushima & Keiichi Koda, 2007. "Risk Sharing and Growth in the Gifts Economy," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 07-02, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    2. Niko Gobbin & Glenn Rayp, 2008. "Different ways of looking at old issues: a time-series approach to inequality and growth," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(7), pages 885-895.
    3. Nikos Benos, 2004. "Education Policies and Economic Growth," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 4-2004, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    4. Berthold U. Wigger, 2002. "Social Security and Growth in an Altruistic Economy," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(1), pages 53-80, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General


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