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Patience and Prosperity

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  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

This paper introduces wealth-dependent time preference into a simple model of endogenous growth. The model generates adjustment dynamics in line with the historical facts on savings and economic growth in Europe from the High Middle Ages to today. Along a virtuous cycle of development more wealth leads to more patience, which leads to more savings and even higher wealth. Savings rates and income growth rates are thus jointly increasing during the process of development until they converge towards constants along a balanced growth path. During the transition to modern growth an economy in which the association of wealth and patience is stronger overtakes an otherwise identical economy and generates temporarily diverging growth rates. It is shown how wealth-dependent time preference can explain the existence of a locally stable poverty trap as well as the phenomenon of simultaneously falling interest rates and rising growth rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Strulik, Holger, 2009. "Patience and Prosperity," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-426, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-426
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    economic growth; savings; time preference; poverty trap; moral consequences of economic growth.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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