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The Effect of Aspirations, Habits, and Social Security on the Distribution of Wealth

  • Jordi Caballé

    ()

    (Unitat de Fonaments de l’Anàlisi Economica and CODE, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.)

  • Ana I. Moro Egido

    ()

    (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)

In this paper, we analyze how the introduction of habits and aspirations affects the distribution of wealth when individuals’ labor productivity is subject to idiosyncratic shocks and bequests arise from a joy-of-giving motive. In the presence of either bequests or aspirations, labor income shocks are transmitted intergenerationally and this transmission, together with the contemporaneous income shocks, determines the stationary distribution of wealth. We show that the introduction of aspirations increases both the intragenerational variability of wealth and the corresponding degree of intergenerational mobility. The opposite result holds when habits are introduced. Finally, we discuss how aspirations and habits interact with the redistributive features of an unfunded social security system.

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File URL: http://www.ugr.es/~teoriahe/RePEc/gra/wpaper/thepapers08_02.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada. in its series ThE Papers with number 08/02.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 09 Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gra:wpaper:08/02
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  1. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballe & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Aspirations, Habit Formation, and Bequest Motive," Working Papers 136, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  4. Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H. & Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Scholarly Articles 3721794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. de la Croix, David & Michel, Philippe, 1997. "Altruism and self-refrain," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1998010, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 00 Apr 1998.
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  7. de la Croix, David, 1996. "The Dynamics of Bequeathed Tastes," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996004, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. Christian Kleiber & Martin Sexauer & Klaus Wälde, 2006. "Bequests, Taxation and the Distribution of Wealth in a General Equilibrium Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 1723, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Jellal, Mohamed & wolff, François charles, 2002. "Altruistic bequests with inherited tastes," MPRA Paper 38447, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2004. "Consumption Externalities, Habit Formation and Equilibrium Efficiency," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 231-251, 06.
  11. Andrew B. Abel, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching up with the Joneses," NBER Working Papers 3279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Diaz, Antonia & Pijoan-Mas, Josep & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 2003. "Precautionary savings and wealth distribution under habit formation preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1257-1291, September.
  13. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
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  15. Christopher D. Carroll & Jody Overland & David N. Weil, 1997. "Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," NBER Working Papers 6138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Croix, David de la & Michel, Philippe, 1999. "Optimal growth when tastes are inherited," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 519-537, February.
  17. Cass, David, 1972. "On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative, neoclassical model of economic growth: A complete characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 200-223, April.
  18. Andrew B. Abel, 1998. "Risk Premia and Term Premia in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 6683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Jordi Caballé & Luisa Fuster, 2000. "Pay-as-you-go social security and the distribution of bequests," Economics Working Papers 468, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  20. Jordi Caballe & Luisa Fuster, 2003. "Pay-as-you-go Social Security and the Distribution of Altruistic Transfers," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 541-567, 07.
  21. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
  22. de la Croix, David, 2001. "Growth dynamics and education spending: The role of inherited tastes and abilities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(8), pages 1415-1438, August.
  23. Alonso-Carrera, Jaime & Caballe, Jordi & Raurich, Xavier, 2005. "Growth, habit formation, and catching-up with the Joneses," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1665-1691, August.
  24. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "Precautionary Saving and Accidental Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 777-91, September.
  25. Davies, James B, 1986. "Does Redistribution Reduce Inequality?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 538-59, October.
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