Gerontocracy Revisited: Unilateral Transfer to the Young May Benefit the Middle-aged
According to conventional wisdom, intergenerational transfers can survive, in the absence of altruism, only if the old are net recipients. I prove that this need not hold in an overlapping generations model with a fixed factor. For example, the middle-aged owning land may gain by providing public education even when they cannot tax the young and when the young face no credit market constraints. This requires that labor is not mobile. Furthermore, establishing public education may benefit only the generation which pays for education twice, first for itself and then for the next generation.
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