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Altruism and self-refrain

  • de la Croix, David

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) ; Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS))

  • Michel, Philippe

    (Université de la Méditerranée, IUF; GREQAM, Marseille)

We address the issue of altruism when standard-of-living aspirations are transmitted from one generation to the other. In that case, the influence of altruistic parents is not limited to the bequest they could leave; indeed, they direct the evolution of children's aspirations toward raising their utility by refraining their own consumption standard. We show that, even if there is no bequest, altruism always increases capital accumulation and has a stabilizing effect on the economy. In an example nesting the Barro-Weil model, bequests can be positive even if this is never the case in the Barro-Weil economy. It is possible for an economy to experience regime shifts along the convergence path to the steady state.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 1998010.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 01 Sep 1997
Date of revision: 00 Apr 1998
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:1998010
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  1. Andrew B. Abel, 1987. "Operative Gift and Bequest Motives," NBER Working Papers 2331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jouvet, P.-A. & Michel, P. & Vidal, J.-P., 1999. "Intergenerational Altruism and the Environment," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 99a03, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  3. Alex Michalos, 1980. "Satisfaction and happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 385-422, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Becker, G.S., 1991. "Habits, Addictions, and Traditions," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 91-8, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  7. Boucekkine, Raouf, 1995. "An alternative methodology for solving nonlinear forward-looking models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 711-734, May.
  8. 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..
  9. Ryder, Harl E, Jr & Heal, Geoffrey M, 1973. "Optimum Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-33, January.
  10. Easterlin, Richard A, 1971. "Does Human Fertility Adjust to the Environment?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 399-407, May.
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