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The Macroeconomics of TANSTAAFL

  • Volker Grossmann
  • Thomas Steger
  • Timo Trimborn

This paper shows that dynamic inefficiency can occur in dynamic general equilibrium models with fully optimizing, infinitely-lived households even in a situation with underinvestment. We identify necessary conditions for such a possibility and illustrate it in a standard R&D-based growth model. Calibrating the model to the US, we show that a moderate increase in the R&D subsidy indeed leads to an intertemporal free lunch (i.e., an increase in per capita consumption at all times). Hence, Milton Friedman’s conjecture There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL) may not apply.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2011/wp-cesifo-2011-11/cesifo1_wp3651.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3651.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3651
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  6. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. " Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
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  12. Christopher Laincz & Pietro Peretto, 2006. "Scale effects in endogenous growth theory: an error of aggregation not specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 263-288, September.
  13. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping Generations: The First Jubilee," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 115-34, Fall.
  14. Juin-jen Chang & Chun-chieh Huang & Hsiao-wen Hung, 2011. "Monopoly Power, Increasing Returns to Variety, and Local Indeterminacy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 384-388, April.
  15. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Dynamically Optimal R\& D Subsidization," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-453, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  16. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  17. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-440, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  18. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 2005. "Growth with Quality-Improving Innovations: An Integrated Framework," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 67-110 Elsevier.
  19. Vincent Martinet & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Combining Rights and Welfarism: a new approach to intertemporal evaluation of social alternatives," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-14, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  20. Jones, Charles I., 2005. "Growth and Ideas," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1063-1111 Elsevier.
  21. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M., 2013. "Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 162-164.
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