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On Ramsey's Conjecture: Efficient Allocations in the Neoclassical Growth Model with Private Information

  • Espino, Emilio

    (Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)

In his seminal paper of 1928, Ramsey conjectured that if agents discounted the future differently, in the long run all agents except the most patient would live at the subsistence level. The validity of this conjecture was investigated in different environments. In particular, it has been confirmed in the neoclassical growth model with dynamically complete markets. This paper studies this conjecture in a version of this model that includes private information and heterogeneous agents. A version of Bayesian Implementation is introduced and a recursive formulation of the original allocation problem is established. Efficient allocations are renegotiation-proof and the expected utility of any agent cannot go to zero with positive probability if the economy does not collapse. If the economy collapses all agents will get zero consumption forever. Thus, including any degree of private information in the neoclassical growth model will deny Ramsey's conjecture, if efficient allocations are considered.

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File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-154.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
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Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 154.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:154
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  1. Phelan, C. & Townsend, R.M., 1990. "Computing Multiperiod, Information-Constrained Optima," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-13, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  2. Cole, Harold L & Kocherlakota, Narayana R, 2001. "Efficient Allocations with Hidden Income and Hidden Storage," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 523-42, July.
  3. Aubhik Khan & B. Ravikumar, 1999. "Growth and risk-sharing with private information," Working Papers 99-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Huggett, Mark, 1997. "The one-sector growth model with idiosyncratic shocks: Steady states and dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 385-403, August.
  5. Wang, Cheng, 1995. "Dynamic Insurance with Private Information and Balanced Budgets," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 577-95, October.
  6. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  7. Ghiglino, Christian, 2002. "Introduction to a General Equilibrium Approach to Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 1-17, July.
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1984. "Optimal growth with many consumers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 139-171, February.
  9. Albert Marcet & Ramon Marimon, 1992. "Communication, commitment, and growth," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 74, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  11. Aubhik Khan & B. Ravikumar, 2002. "Enduring relationships in an economy with capital," Working Papers 02-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. Atkeson, Andrew & Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 427-53, July.
  13. Phelan, Christopher, 1998. "On the Long Run Implications of Repeated Moral Hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 174-191, April.
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