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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M., 2012. "Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity," Working Papers 117, .
  4. 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.
  5. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Dynamically Optimal R\& D Subsidization," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-453, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  6. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  7. Karl-Josef Koch & Timo Trimborn & Thomas M. Steger, 2005. "Multi-Dimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numerical Procedure," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 121-05, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  8. Andrew Abel & Gregory N. Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard Zeckhauser, . "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  9. Mehra, Rajnish & Prescott, Edward C., 1985. "The equity premium: A puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 145-161, March.
  10. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping Generations: the First Jubilee," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8712, Sciences Po.
  11. 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.
  12. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2010. "Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy," FSES Working Papers 414, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
  13. Charles I. Jones, 2004. "Growth and Ideas," NBER Working Papers 10767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Martinet, Vincent, 2011. "A characterization of sustainability with indicators," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 183-197, March.
  18. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  19. 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.
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  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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