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The Macroeconomics of TANSTAAFL

  • Grossmann, Volker
  • Steger, Thomas M.
  • Trimborn, Timo

This paper shows that dynamic inefficiency can occur in dynamic general equilibrium models with fully optimizing, infinitely-lived households even in a situation with underinvestment. We identify necessary conditions for such a pos- sibility and illustrate it in a standard R\&D-based growth model. Calibrating the model to the US, we show that a moderate increase in the R\&D subsidy indeed leads to an intertemporal free lunch (i.e., an increase in per capita consumption at all times). Hence, Milton Friedman’s conjecture There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL) may not apply.

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File URL: http://diskussionspapiere.wiwi.uni-hannover.de/pdf_bib/dp-482.pdf
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Paper provided by Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät in its series Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) with number dp-482.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-482
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  1. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A & Romer, Paul M, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-55, May.
  2. Ngo Van Long & Vincent Martinet, 2012. "Combining Rights and Welfarism: A New Approach to Intertemporal Evaluation of Social Alternatives," CESifo Working Paper Series 3746, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas & Trimborn, Timo, 2013. "Dynamically optimal R&D subsidization," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 516-534.
  4. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  5. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  6. Jones, Charles I & Williams, John C, 2000. " Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 65-85, March.
  7. Martinet, Vincent, 2011. "A characterization of sustainability with indicators," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 183-197, March.
  8. Juin-jen Chang & Chun-chieh Huang & Hsiao-wen Hung, 2011. "Monopoly Power, Increasing Returns to Variety, and Local Indeterminacy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 384-388, April.
  9. Timo Trimborn & Karl-Josef Koch & Thomas M. Steger, 2004. "Multi-dimensional transitional dynamics : a simple numerical procedure," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 04/35, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  10. Andrew B. Abel & N. Gregory Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1986. "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 5007, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  13. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M., 2012. "Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity," Working Papers 117, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  14. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 2005. "Growth with Quality-Improving Innovations: An Integrated Framework," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 67-110 Elsevier.
  15. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping generations: the first jubilee," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13430, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Norrbin, Stefan C, 1993. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry: A Contradiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 1149-64, December.
  17. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  18. Jones, Charles I., 2005. "Growth and Ideas," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1063-1111 Elsevier.
  19. Cass, David, 1972. "On capital overaccumulation in the aggregative, neoclassical model of economic growth: A complete characterization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 200-223, April.
  20. Christopher Laincz & Pietro Peretto, 2006. "Scale effects in endogenous growth theory: an error of aggregation not specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 263-288, September.
  21. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
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