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Demonstration Effect and Dynamic Efficiency

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  • Thibault, Emmanuel

Abstract

We show that contrary to conventional wisdom intergenerational family transfers dominate fiscal policies as a remedy to the dynamic inefficiency arising in a Diamond (1965, American Economic Review) economy with logarithmic utility and Cobb-Douglas technology. Using the demonstration-effect approach popularized by Cox and Stark (2005, Journal of Public Economics), we prove that, differently from public debt, family transfers can serve the role of automatic stabilizers. Indeed, they are nil under dynamic efficiency, implying that both capital accumulation and welfare are not worsened. They are positive under dynamic inefficiency, and instrumental to depress capital accumulation so to approach the Golden Rule capital stock.

Suggested Citation

  • Thibault, Emmanuel, 2016. "Demonstration Effect and Dynamic Efficiency," IDEI Working Papers 858, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  • Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:30013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chiara Canta & Pierre Pestieau & Emmanuel Thibault, 2016. "Long-term care and capital accumulation: the impact of the State, the market and the family," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(4), pages 755-785, April.
    2. Docquier, Frederic & Paddison, Oliver & Pestieau, Pierre, 2007. "Optimal accumulation in an endogenous growth setting with human capital," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 361-378, May.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    4. d'Albis, Hippolyte, 2007. "Demographic structure and capital accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 411-434, January.
    5. Donald Cox & Oded Stark, 2007. "On the Demand for Grandchildren: Tied Transfers and the Demonstration Effect," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Happiness, chapter 18 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8712 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Abel, Andrew B, 1987. "Operative Gift and Bequest Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1037-1047, December.
    8. Mitrut, Andreea & Wolff, François-Charles, 2009. "A causal test of the demonstration effect theory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 52-54, April.
    9. Canta Chiara & Pestieau Pierre, 2013. "Long-Term Care Insurance and Family Norms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 401-428, April.
    10. Schoonbroodt, Alice & Tertilt, Michèle, 2014. "Property rights and efficiency in OLG models with endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 551-582.
    11. Michel, Philippe & Thibault, Emmanuel & Vidal, Jean-Pierre, 2006. "Intergenerational altruism and neoclassical growth models," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    12. Jellal, Mohamed & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2000. "Shaping intergenerational relationships: the demonstration effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 255-261, September.
    13. Emmanuel Thibault, 2000. "Existence of equilibrium in an OLG model with production and altruistic preferences," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 15(3), pages 709-715.
    14. Galor, Oded & Ryder, Harl E., 1991. "Dynamic efficiency of steady-state equilibria in an overlapping-generations model with productive capital," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 385-390, April.
    15. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping Generations: The First Jubilee," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 115-134, Fall.
    16. Philippe Weil, 1987. "Love Thy Children: Reflections on the Barro Debt Neutrality Theorem," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8711, Sciences Po.
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    18. Weil, Philippe, 1987. "Love thy children : Reflections on the Barro debt neutrality theorem," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 377-391, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    OLG model; Dynamic efficiency; Intergenerational family transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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