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Simplifying numerical analyses of Hamilton–Jacobi–Bellman equations

  • Dirk Bethmann


  • Markus Reiß


We introduce a simple method for computing value functions. The method is demonstrated by solving for transitional dynamics in the Uzawa and Lucas endogenous growth model. We use the value function approach to solve both the social planner’s optimization problem in the centralized economy and the representative agent’s optimization problem in the decentralized economy. The complexity of the Hamilton–Jacobi–Bellman equations is significantly reduced to an initial value problem for one ordinary differential equation. This approach allows us to find the optimal controls for the non-concave Hamiltonian in the centralized case and to identify the symmetric equilibrium in the decentralized case. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2012

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 107 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 101-128

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:107:y:2012:i:2:p:101-128
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  1. Erik Canton, 2002. "Business cycles in a two-sector model of endogenous growth," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 477-492.
  2. Danyang Xie, 2002. "Divergence in Economic Performance: Transitional Dynamics with Multiple Equilibria," GE, Growth, Math methods 0210002, EconWPA.
  3. Boucekkine, R. & Ruiz-Tamarit, J.R., 2008. "Special functions for the study of economic dynamics: The case of the Lucas-Uzawa model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 33-54, January.
  4. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991. "A Note on the Time-Elimination Method For Solving Recursive Dynamic Economic Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Chamley, Christophe, 1993. "Externalities and Dynamics in Models of "Learning or Doing."," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 583-609, August.
  6. Dirk Bethmann, 2007. "A Closed-form Solution of the Uzawa-Lucas Model of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 90(1), pages 87-107, January.
  7. Bethmann, Dirk, 2004. "The open-loop solution of the Uzawa-Lucas Model of Endogenous Growth with N agents," Papers 2004,42, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Center for Applied Statistics and Economics (CASE).
  8. Brunner, Martin & Strulik, Holger, 2002. "Solution of perfect foresight saddlepoint problems: a simple method and applications," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 737-753, May.
  9. Mulligan, C.B. & Sala-i-Martin, X., 1992. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," Papers 651, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  10. Bond, Eric W. & Wang, Ping & Yip, Chong K., 1996. "A General Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Human and Physical Capital: Balanced Growth and Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 149-173, January.
  11. Benhabib Jess & Perli Roberto, 1994. "Uniqueness and Indeterminacy: On the Dynamics of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 113-142, June.
  12. Caballe, Jordi & Santos, Manuel S, 1993. "On Endogenous Growth with Physical and Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1042-67, December.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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