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How Powerful is Demography? The Serendipity Theorem Revisited

  • David De La Croix

    ()

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

  • Pierre Pestieau

    (CREPP - Center of Research in Public Economics and Population Economics - Université de Liège, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) - Belgique, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris)

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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Paper provided by HAL in its series PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" with number halshs-00575095.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:hal:pseose:halshs-00575095
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  1. Pierre-André Jouvet & Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2007. "Longevity and environmental quality in an OLG model," EconomiX Working Papers 2007-19, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  2. David De La Croix & Grégory Ponthière, 2008. "On the Golden Rule of capital accumulation under endogenous longevity," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586242, HAL.
  3. Chakraborty, Shankha, 2004. "Endogenous lifetime and economic growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 119-137, May.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2006. "Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_062, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  7. Klaus Jaeger & Wolfgang Kuhle, 2009. "The optimum growth rate for population reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 23-41, January.
  8. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2007. "‘The Child is Father of the Man:’ Implications for the Demographic Transition," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/05, European University Institute.
  9. G. Abío & Geraldine Mahieu & Cio Patxot, 2003. "On the Optimality of PAYG Pension Systems in an Endogenous Fertility Setting," CESifo Working Paper Series 1050, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Michel, Philippe & Pestieau, P, 1993. "Population Growth and Optimality: When Does Serendipity Hold?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 353-62, November.
  15. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521001151 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2003:i:4:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521806428 is not listed on IDEAS
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