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How powerful is demography? The Serendipity Theorem revisited

Listed author(s):
  • David Croix

    ()

  • Pierre Pestieau

    ()

  • Grégory Ponthière

    ()

Introduced by Samuelson (Int Econ Rev 16(3):531-538, 1975), the Serendipity Theorem states that the competitive economy will converge towards the optimum steady-state provided the optimum fertility rate is imposed. This paper aims at exploring whether the Serendipity Theorem still holds in an economy with risky lifetime. We show that, under general conditions, including a perfect annuity market with actuarially fair return, imposing the optimum fertility rate and the optimum survival rate leads the competitive economy to the optimum steady state. That Extended Serendipity Theorem is also shown to hold in economies where old adults work some fraction of the old age, whatever the retirement age is fixed or chosen by the agents.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-011-0362-z
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Article provided by Springer & European Society for Population Economics in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 899-922

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:25:y:2012:i:3:p:899-922
DOI: 10.1007/s00148-011-0362-z
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  1. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  2. DE LA CROIX, David & LICANDRO, Omar, 2007. "‘The child is father of the man’: implications for the demographic transition," CORE Discussion Papers 2007072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. de la Croix, David & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2010. "On the Golden Rule of capital accumulation under endogenous longevity," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 227-238, March.
  4. Alexandra Rillaers & David de la Croix & Geraldine Mahieu, 2003. "How Should The Allocation Of Resources Adjust To The Baby Bust?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2003-27, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  5. JOUVET, Pierre-André & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," CORE Discussion Papers 2007069, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  7. Ab O, G. & Mahieu, G. & Patxot, C., 2004. "On the optimality of PAYG pension systems in an endogenous fertility setting," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 35-62, March.
  8. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, "undated". "Population growth and optimality. When does serendipity hold?," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_062, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  10. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532587, December.
  11. Grégory Ponthière, 2009. "Rectangularization and the rise in limit longevity in a simple overlapping generations model," Post-Print halshs-00754324, HAL.
  12. Gemma Abio, 2003. "Interiority of the optimal population growth rate with endogenous fertility," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(4), pages 1-7.
  13. Deardorff, Alan V, 1976. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population: Comment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 510-515, June.
  14. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2003:i:4:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 531-538, October.
  16. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
  17. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
  19. Klaus Jaeger & Wolfgang Kuhle, 2009. "The optimum growth rate for population reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(1), pages 23-41, January.
  20. Hu, Sheng Cheng, 1979. "Social Security, the Supply of Labor, and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 274-283, June.
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