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How Powerful is Demography? The Serendipity Theorem Revisited

  • David de la CROIX

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques etSsociales (IRES) and Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE))

  • Pierre PESTIEAU

    (University of Liege, CORE, Paris School of Economics and CEPR)

  • Gregory PONTHIERE

    (Paris School of Economics and Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris)

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.

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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 2009040.

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Length: 20
Date of creation: 11 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2009040
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  1. David De La Croix & Géraldine Mahieu & Alexandra Rillaers, 2004. "How Should the Allocation of Resources Adjust to the Baby Bust?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(4), pages 607-636, October.
  2. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2003:i:4:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Gemma Abio Roig, 2003. "Interiority of the Optimal Population Growth Rate with Endogenous Fertility," Working Papers in Economics 96, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  4. Klaus Jaeger & Wolfgang Kuhle, 2009. "The optimum growth rate for population reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 23-41, January.
  5. Hu, Sheng Cheng, 1979. "Social Security, the Supply of Labor, and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 274-83, June.
  6. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," EconomiX Working Papers 2007-19, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  7. Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
  8. de la Croix, David & Ponthiere, Gregory, 2010. "On the Golden Rule of capital accumulation under endogenous longevity," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 227-238, March.
  9. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521001151 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Deardorff, Alan V, 1976. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population: Comment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 510-15, June.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521806428 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 531-38, October.
  13. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_062, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  14. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
  15. DE LA CROIX, David & LICANDRO, Omar, 2007. "‘The child is father of the man’: implications for the demographic transition," CORE Discussion Papers 2007072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  16. Shankha Chakraborty, 2002. "Endogenous Lifetime and Economic Growth," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-03, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 26 Jan 2002.
  17. MICHEL, Philippe & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Population growth and optimality. When does serendipity hold?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  18. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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, 01.
  20. DE LA CROIX, David & MAHIEU, Géraldine & RILLAERS, Alexandra, . "How should the allocation of resources adjust to the baby bust?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1741, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  21. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  22. David De La Croix & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "On the Golden Rule of capital accumulation under endogenous longevity," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586242, HAL.
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