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How Powerful is Demography? The Serendipity Theorem Revisited

  • David De La Croix

    ()

    (CORE - Department of Economics - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège [Liège], CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC))

Introduced by Samuelson (1975), the Serendipity Theorem states that the competitive economy will converge towards the optimum steady-state provided the optimum population growth rate is imposed. This paper aims at exploring whether the Serendipity Theorem still holds in an economy with risky lifetime. We show that, under general conditions, including a perfect annuity market with actuarially fair return, imposing the optimum fertility rate and the optimum survival rate leads the competitive economy to the optimum steady-state. That Extended Serendipity Theorem is also shown to hold in economies where old adults work some fraction of the old-age, whatever the retirement age is fixed or chosen by the agents.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-00575095
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  1. de la Croix, David & Mahieu, Géraldine & Rillaers, Alexandra, 2000. "How should retirement policy adjust to the baby bust ?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2001003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer, 2005. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gregory Ponthiere, 2009. "Rectangularization And The Rise In Limit-Longevity In A Simple Overlapping Generations Model," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 77(1), pages 17-46, 01.
  4. Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
  5. David De la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2009. "The Child is Father of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 376, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. JOUVET, Pierre-André & PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Gregory, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," CORE Discussion Papers 2007069, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. David, DE LA CROIX, 2008. "On the Golden Rule of capital accumulation under endogenous longevity," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2008032, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  8. Blackorby,Charles & Bossert,Walter & Donaldson,David J., 2005. "Population Issues in Social Choice Theory, Welfare Economics, and Ethics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521532587, November.
  9. Gemma Abio Roig, 2003. "Interiority of the Optimal Population Growth Rate with Endogenous Fertility," Working Papers in Economics 96, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  10. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Ab O, G. & Mahieu, G. & Patxot, C., 2004. "On the optimality of PAYG pension systems in an endogenous fertility setting," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 35-62, March.
  12. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  13. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2003:i:4:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. DE LA CROIX, David & MAHIEU, Géraldine & RILLAERS, Alexandra, . "How should the allocation of resources adjust to the baby bust?," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1741, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Klaus Jaeger & Wolfgang Kuhle, 2009. "The optimum growth rate for population reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(1), pages 23-41, January.
  16. Blackburn, Keith & Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2002. "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-204, February.
  17. Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, P, 1993. "Population Growth and Optimality: When Does Serendipity Hold?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 6(4), pages 353-62, November.
  18. Jeffrey R. Brown, 2007. "Rational and Behavioral Perspectives on the Role of Annuities in Retirement Planning," NBER Working Papers 13537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 531-38, October.
  20. Deardorff, Alan V, 1976. "The Optimum Growth Rate for Population: Comment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 510-15, June.
  21. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2008. "The Child is Father of the Man: by Implications for the Demographic Transition," Working Papers 2008-04, FEDEA.
  22. Hu, Sheng Cheng, 1979. "Social Security, the Supply of Labor, and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 274-83, June.
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