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Capital Accumulation in an Economy with Dynasties and Uncertain Lifetimes

  • Luisa Fuster

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra and University of Western Ontario)

This paper studies how the lack of an annuities market affects savings behavior and intergenerational transfers in a dynastic overlapping generations economy. I find that the answer to this question depends crucially on altruism. On the one hand, if the altruistic bequest motive is operative, then the lack of annuity markets enhances capital accumulation. On the other hand, if the altruistic bequest motive is not operative, the absence of annuity markets can either increase of decrease aggregate savings. I characterize under which conditions capital accumulation is enhanced. I also prove that an overlapping generations economy with altruism and uninsurable lifetime risk faces capital overaccumulation relative to the Modified Golden rule. The efficient allocation corresponding to the Modified Golden rule can be decentralized as a competitive equilibrium by a pay-as-you-go social security system, and this can only be done if individuals are altruistic. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.1999.0086
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 650-674

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:3:y:2000:i:4:p:650-674
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  1. Abel, Andrew B, 1986. "Capital Accumulation and Uncertain Lifetimes with Adverse Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1079-97, September.
  2. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  3. Eckstein, Zvi & Eichenbaum, Martin S & Peled, Dan, 1985. "The Distribution of Wealth and Welfare in the Presence of Incomplete Annuity Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 789-806, August.
  4. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fernando Perera-Tallo & Hideo Konishi, 1997. "Existence of steady - state equium in an overlapping-generations model with production (*)," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 529-537.
  7. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mark Huggett, 1995. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 105, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Friedman, Benjamin M & Warshawsky, Mark J, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-54, February.
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