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The Macroeconomics of TANSTAAFL

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Listed:
  • Volker Grossmann
  • Thomas Steger
  • Timo Trimborn

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Volker Grossmann & Thomas Steger & Timo Trimborn, 2011. "The Macroeconomics of TANSTAAFL," CESifo Working Paper Series 3651, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3651
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intertemporal free lunch; dynamic inefficiency; R&D-based growth; transitional dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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