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Capital Accumulation And Present-biased Preference


  • Wang Peng

    (Institute for Advanced Studies, Wuhan University)

  • Heng-fu Zou

    (Institute for Advanced Studies, Wuhan University
    CEMA in Central University of Finance and Economics)


This paper reexamines the capital accumulation within a neo-classical growth model under the assumption of hyperbolic discounting as well as endogenous preference, finding that 1) two kinds of Naifs¡¯ behavior coincides under log utility; 2) increasing marginal impatience due to capital accumulation itself will negatively affect the steady state locus of consumption and capital; 3) the effect of hyperbolic settings through effective rate of preference is still ambiguous; 4) we prove the saddle-point equilibrium property for the steady state under various assumptions about individual¡¯s preference. Our model also justifies Max Weber's idea that although spirit of capitalism is an engine to capital accumulation, the subsequent growing wealth will damage this engine.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang Peng & Heng-fu Zou, 2012. "Capital Accumulation And Present-biased Preference," CEMA Working Papers 531, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cuf:wpaper:531

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
    2. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson in the Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152.
    3. David I. Laibson, 1996. "Hyperbolic Discount Functions, Undersaving, and Savings Policy," NBER Working Papers 5635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Heng-fu Zou, 1995. "The spirit of capitalism and savings behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 131-143, September.
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    More about this item


    hyperbolic discounting; time-inconsistent; capital accumulation; spirit of capitalism;

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical

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