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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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  1. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  2. Volker Grossmann & Thomas M. Steger & Timo Trimborn, 2010. "Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_051, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  3. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M., 2012. "Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity," Working Papers 117, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  4. Charles I. Jones, 2004. "Growth and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 10767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Volker Grossmann & Thomas Steger & Timo Trimborn, 2010. "Dynamically Optimal R&D Subsidization," CESifo Working Paper Series 3153, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping Generations: the First Jubilee," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8712, Sciences Po.
  8. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  9. Timo Trimborn & Karl-Josef Koch & Thomas M. Steger, 2004. "Multi-dimensional transitional dynamics : a simple numerical procedure," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 04/35, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  10. Ngo Van Long & Vincent Martinet, 2012. "Combining Rights and Welfarism: A New Approach to Intertemporal Evaluation of Social Alternatives," CESifo Working Paper Series 3746, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Norrbin, S.C., 1993. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry: A Contradiction," Working Papers 1993_05_04, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  12. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  13. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Andrew Abel & Gregory N. Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard Zeckhauser, . "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  15. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, 1999. "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D"," Working Papers 99015, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  18. Martinet, Vincent, 2011. "A characterization of sustainability with indicators," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 183-197, March.
  19. Cass, David, 1972. "On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative, neoclassical model of economic growth: A complete characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 200-223, April.
  20. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
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