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How powerful is demography ? The Serendipity Theorem revisited

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  • DE LA CROIX, David

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE and IRES, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE and IRES, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • PONTHIERE, Gregory

    () (Paris School of Economics and Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France)

Abstract

Introduced by Samuelson (1975), the Serendipity Theorem states that the competitive economy will converge towards the optimum steady-state provided the optimum population growth rate is imposed. This paper aims at exploring whether the Serendipity Theorem still holds in an economy with risky lifetime. We show that, under general conditions, including a perfect annuity market with actuarially fair return, imposing the optimum fertility rate and the optimum survival rate leads the competitive economy to the optimum steady-state. That Extended Serendipity Theorem is also shown to hold in economies where old adults work some fraction of the old-age, whatever the retirement age is fixed or chosen by the agents

Suggested Citation

  • DE LA CROIX, David & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2009. "How powerful is demography ? The Serendipity Theorem revisited," CORE Discussion Papers 2009076, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2009076
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, P, 1993. "Population Growth and Optimality: When Does Serendipity Hold?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(4), pages 353-362, November.
    2. Hu, Sheng Cheng, 1979. "Social Security, the Supply of Labor, and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 274-283, June.
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    6. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2013. "The Child is Father Of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 236-261, March.
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    10. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," GE, Growth, Math methods 0409004, EconWPA.
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    13. Gregory Ponthiere, 2009. "Rectangularization And The Rise In Limit-Longevity In A Simple Overlapping Generations Model," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 77(1), pages 17-46, January.
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    16. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2010. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 191-216, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2012. "The public economics of increasing longevity," Working Papers halshs-00676492, HAL.
    2. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2014. "Endogenous fertility, endogenous lifetime and economic growth: the role of child policies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 529-564, April.
    3. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2012. "Public Expenditure on Health and Private Old-Age Insurance in an OLG Growth Model with Endogenous Fertility: Chaotic Dynamics Under Perfect Foresight," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 40(4), pages 333-353, December.
    4. Momota, Akira, 2016. "Intensive and extensive margins of fertility, capital accumulation, and economic welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 90-110.
    5. repec:hal:psewpa:halshs-00746913 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2014. "Optimal fertility along the life cycle," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 185-224, January.
    7. Stefan Felder, 2016. "“How powerful is demography? The serendipity theorem revisited” comment on De la Croix et al. (2012)," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 957-967, July.
    8. Grégory Ponthière, 2012. "Fair Accumulation under Risky Lifetime," Working Papers halshs-00746913, HAL.
    9. Thomas I. Renström & Luca Spataro, 2015. "Population Growth and Human Capital: A Welfarist Approach," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83, pages 110-141, December.
    10. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "The Public Economics of Increasing Longevity," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 41-74, March.
    11. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2011. "Optimal Fertility along the Lifecycle," Working Papers hal-00612609, HAL.
    12. Gregory Ponthiere, 2013. "Fair Accumulation under Risky Lifetime," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(2), pages 210-230, May.
    13. Stelter, Robert, 2014. "Over-aging: Are present human populations too old?," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 137, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    14. Ziesemer, Thomas, 2018. "The serendipity theorem for an endogenous open economy growth model," MERIT Working Papers 001, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    15. Paolo Melindi-Ghidi & Willem Sas, 2015. "Invest as You Go: How Public Health Investment Keeps Pension Systems Healthy," Working Papers halshs-01171701, HAL.
    16. Stelter, Robert, 2016. "Over-aging — Are present-day human populations too old?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 116-143.
    17. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2017. "Optimal fertility under age-dependent labour productivity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 621-646, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Serendipity Theorem; fertility; mortality; overlapping generations; retirement;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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