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Saving Rate Dynamics in the Neoclassical Growth Model — Hyperbolic Discounting and Observational Equivalence

  • Y. Hossein Farzin

    ()

    (University of California at Davis)

  • Ronald Wendner

    ()

    (Karl-Franzens University of Graz)

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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Paper provided by University of Graz, Department of Economics in its series Graz Economics Papers with number 2013-05.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:grz:wpaper:2013-05
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  1. Gong, Liutang & Smith, William & Zou, Heng-fu, 2007. "Consumption and Risk with hyperbolic discounting," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 153-160, August.
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  4. Shafer, Jeffrey R & Elmeskov, Jorgen & Tease, Warren, 1992. " Saving Trends and Measurement Issues," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(2), pages 155-75.
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  6. Anastastia Litina & Theodore Palivos, 2008. "The Behaviour of the Saving Rate in the Neoclassical Optimal Growth Model," Discussion Paper Series 2008_05, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Jun 2008.
  7. Kent Smetters, 2003. "The (Interesting) Dynamic Properties of the Neoclassical Growth Model with CES Production," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 697-707, July.
  8. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
  9. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "The Poverty of Nations: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 5414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
  11. Findley, T. Scott & Caliendo, Frank N., 2014. "Interacting mechanisms of time inconsistency," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 68-76.
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