The mathematics of Ponzi schemes
A first order linear differential equation is used to describe the dynamics of an investment fund that promises more than it can deliver, also known as a Ponzi scheme. The model is based on a promised, unrealistic interest rate; on the actual, realized nominal interest rate; on the rate at which new deposits are accumulated and on the withdrawal rate. Conditions on these parameters are given for the fund to be solvent or to collapse. The model is fitted to data available on Charles Ponzi's 1920 eponymous scheme and illustrated with a philanthropic version of the scheme.
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Bhattacharya, Utpal, 2003. "The optimal design of Ponzi schemes in finite economies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 2-24, January.
- Olivier J. Blanchard & Philippe Weil, 2001.
"Dynamic Efficiency, the Riskless Rate, and Debt Ponzi Games under Uncertainty,"
Sciences Po publications
info:hdl:2441/8607, Sciences Po.
- Blanchard Olivier & Weil Philippe, 2001. "Dynamic Efficiency, the Riskless Rate, and Debt Ponzi Games under Uncertainty," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-23, November.
- Olivier Jean Blanchard & Philippe Weil, 1992. "Dynamic Efficiency, the Riskless Rate, and Debt Ponzi Games Under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 3992, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Stephen A. O'Connell & Stephen P. Zeldes, .
"Rational Ponzi Games,"
Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers
18-86, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Forslid, Rikard, 1998. "External Debt and Ponzi-Games in a Small Open Economy with Endogenous Growth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 341-349, April.
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