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Learning to Perfect Manipulation: Implications for Fertility, Savings, and Old-Age Social Security

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  • Lakshmi K Raut

Abstract

In this paper we consider an overlapping gnerations model with endogenous fertility and two-sided altruism and show the limitations of applying commonly used open loop Nash equilibrium in characterizing equilibrium transfers from parents to children in the form of bequest, and transfers from children to parents as voluntary old-age support. Since in our model children are concerned with parents' old-age consumption, agents have incentives to save less for old age and to have more children so as to strategically induce their children to transfer more old-age support. We formulate such strategic behavior within a sequential multi-stage game and introduce a notion of learning equilibrium to characterize equilibrium manipulative behavior and then study the consequences of such strategic manipulations on private intergenerational transfers, fertility and savings decisions, and on Pareto optimality of equilibrium allocation. We show that the learning equilibrium notion of the paper simplifies computation of subgame perfect equilibrium, subgame perfect equilibrium is the long-run outcome of dynamic learning equilibrium paths (this aids in selecting, sometimes, a unique equilibrium among multiple subgame perfect equilibria), and an open-loop Nash equilibrium involves "incredible" threats from children. We provide an alternative explanation for the existence of publicly provided social security program and examine its role to correct distortions created by strategic manipulation.
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Suggested Citation

  • Lakshmi K Raut, 1997. "Learning to Perfect Manipulation: Implications for Fertility, Savings, and Old-Age Social Security," Levine's Working Paper Archive 597, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:597
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
    2. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    3. Diamond, P. A., 1977. "A framework for social security analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 275-298, December.
    4. Lakshmi Kanta Raut, 1992. "Effect of Social Security on Fertility and Savings: An Overlapping Generations Model," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 25-43, July.
    5. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    6. Nishimura, Kazuo & Zhang, Junsen, 1992. "Pay-as-you-go public pensions with endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 239-258, July.
    7. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 151-182, July.
    8. Kohlberg, Elon, 1976. "A model of economic growth with altruism between generations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-13, August.
    9. Pollak, Robert A, 1988. "Tied Transfers and Paternalistic Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 240-244, May.
    10. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    11. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
    12. Veall, Michael R., 1986. "Public pensions as optimal social contracts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 237-251, November.
    13. Raut, L. K., 1990. "Capital accumulation, income distribution and endogenous fertility in an overlapping generations general equilibrium model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 123-150, November.
    14. Hansson, Ingemar & Stuart, Charles, 1989. "Social Security as Trade among Living Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1182-1195, December.
    15. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-388, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guataqui, Juan Carlos & García-Suaza, Andrés Felipe & Rodríguez-Acosta, Mauricio, 2009. "Ahorro para el retiro en Colombia: patrones y determinantes," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 005792, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. Raut, Lakshmi K. & Tran, Lien H., 2005. "Parental human capital investment and old-age transfers from children: Is it a loan contract or reciprocity for Indonesian families?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 389-414, August.
    3. Lakshmi K. Raut & Lien H. Tran, 1998. "Motives for investment in human capital of children: evidence from Indonesian Family Life Survey Data," Labor and Demography 9801001, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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