Saving Rate Dynamics in the Neoclassical Growth Model — Hyperbolic Discounting and Observational Equivalence
The standard neoclassical growth model with Cobb-Douglas production predicts a mono- tonically declining saving rate, when reasonably calibrated. Ample empirical evidence, however, shows that the transition path of a countrys saving rate exhibits a rising or non- monotonic pattern. In important cases, hyperbolic discounting, which is empirically strongly supported, implies transitional dynamics of the saving rate that accords well with empirical evidence. This holds true even in a growth model with Cobb-Douglas production technology. We also identify those cases in which hyperbolic discounting is observation- ally equivalent to exponential discounting. In those cases, hyperbolic discounting does not affect the saving rate dynamics. Numerical simulations employing a generalized class of hyperbolic discounting functions that we term regular discounting functions support the results.
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