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How powerful is demography? The Serendipity Theorem revisited

  • David Croix

    ()

  • Pierre Pestieau

    ()

  • Grégory Ponthière

    ()

Introduced by Samuelson (1975), the Serendipity Theorem states that the competitive economy will converge towards the optimum steady-state provided the optimum population growth 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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Article provided by Springer 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
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  1. 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 510-15, June.
  2. Gregory Ponthiere, 2009. "Rectangularization And The Rise In Limit-Longevity In A Simple Overlapping Generations Model," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 77(1), pages 17-46, 01.
  3. 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 531-38, October.
  4. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Population growth and optimality. When does serendipity hold?," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2005. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  8. David De La Croix & Grégory Ponthière, 2010. "On the Golden Rule of capital accumulation under endogenous longevity," Post-Print halshs-00754468, HAL.
  9. G. ABIO & Géraldine MAHIEU & C. Patxot, 2002. "On the Optimality of PAYG Pension Systems in an Endogenous Fertility Setting," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2002006, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  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 9780521825511.
  11. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 191-216, July.
  12. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  13. 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).
  14. Gemma Abio Roig, 2003. "Interiority of the Optimal Population Growth Rate with Endogenous Fertility," Working Papers in Economics 96, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  15. 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.
  16. Klaus Jaeger & Wolfgang Kuhle, 2009. "The optimum growth rate for population reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 23-41, January.
  17. Omar Licandro & David de la Croix, 2008. "The Child is Father of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," 2008 Meeting Papers 186, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2003:i:4:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2008. "The Child is Father of the Man: by Implications for the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2008-04, FEDEA.
  20. 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.
  21. Hu, Sheng Cheng, 1979. "Social Security, the Supply of Labor, and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 274-83, June.
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