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The Effect of Aspirations, Habits, and Social Security on the Distribution of Wealth

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  • Jordi Caballé
  • Ana I. Moro-Egido

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze how the introduction of habits and aspirations affects the distribution of wealth when individuals' labor productivity is subject to idiosyncratic shocks and bequests arise from a joy-of-giving motive. In the presence of either bequests or aspirations, labor income shocks are transmitted intergenerationally and this transmission, together with the contemporaneous income shocks, determines the stationary distribution of wealth. We show that the introduction of aspirations increases both the intragenerational variability of wealth and the corresponding degree of intergenerational mobility. The opposite result holds when habits are introduced. Finally, we discuss how aspirations and habits interact with the redistributive features of an unfunded social security system.

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Caballé & Ana I. Moro-Egido, 2008. "The Effect of Aspirations, Habits, and Social Security on the Distribution of Wealth," Working Papers 352, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:352
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2007. "Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 813-836, April.
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    4. de la Croix, David, 2001. "Growth dynamics and education spending: The role of inherited tastes and abilities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1415-1438, August.
    5. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballe, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2005. "Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1665-1691, August.
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    27. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64:p:12 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Envy and Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 949-973, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    aspirations; Habits; Wealth Distribution; Social Security;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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