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Fiscal Policy with Agents Differing in Altruism and in Ability

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  • Michel, Philippe
  • Pestieau, Pierre

Abstract

This Paper explores the effects of a menu of inter-generational fiscal policies (public debt financed by taxes, PAYG social security system and inheritance taxation) in an overlapping generations model with perfect altruism. It generalizes the model by Barro (1974) by introducing intra-generational heterogeneity. In other words, households differ in productivity and altruism. Within such a model wealth is entirely held in the steady-state by the families with the highest degree of altruism. Under plausible assumptions both public debt and social security are neutral à la Ricardo, while increasing inequality. Also, estate taxation can be Pareto worsening even though it fosters income equality.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Fiscal Policy with Agents Differing in Altruism and in Ability," CEPR Discussion Papers 4254, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4254
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
    2. 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..
    3. Falk, Ita & Stark, Oded, 2001. "Dynasties and Destiny: On the Roles of Altruism and Impatience in the Evolution of Consumption and Bequests," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 505-518, November.
    4. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU , Pierre, 1994. "Fiscal Policy in a Growth Model with Both Altruistic and Non Altruistic Agents," CORE Discussion Papers 1994049, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. 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.
    6. Nourry, Carine & Venditti, Alain, 2001. "Determinacy of Equilibrium in an Overlapping Generations Model with Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-2), pages 230-255, January.
    7. Laitner, John, 2001. "Secular Changes in Wealth Inequality and Inheritance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 691-721, October.
    8. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1978. "Notes on Estate Taxes, Redistribution, and the Concept of Balanced Growth Path Incidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(2), pages 137-150, April.
    9. Smetters, Kent, 1999. "Ricardian equivalence: long-run Leviathan," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 395-421, September.
    10. Robert A. Becker, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-382.
    11. Weil, Philippe, 1987. "Love thy children : Reflections on the Barro debt neutrality theorem," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 377-391, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Helmuth Cremer & ) & Pierre Pestieau, 2003. "Wealth Transfer Taxation: A Survey," Public Economics 0311003, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Altruism; D64; estate tax; public debt; social security;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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