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Keeping up with the Ageing Joneses

  • Fisher, Walter H.

    (Department of Economics and Finance, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria)

  • Heijdra, Ben J.

    (Department of Economics, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands)

In this paper we consider the implications of relative consumption externalities in the Blanchard-Yaari overlapping generations framework. Unlike most of the macroeconomic literature that studies this question, the differences between agents, and, thus, in their relative position, persist in equilibrium. We show in our fixed employment model that consumption externalities lower consumption and the capital stock in long-run equilibrium, a result in sharp contrast to the recent findings of Liu and Turnovsky (2005). In addition, we solve for the intertemporal path of the economy to investigate its response to demographic shocks, specifically, to permanent changes in the birth and death rates.

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File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/eco/es-204.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 204.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:204
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  1. Ben J. Heijdra & Ward E. Romp, 2006. "Ageing and Growth in the Small Open Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1740, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Stephen Turnovsky & Goncalo Monteiro, 2006. "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities, and Efficient Capital Accumulation under Time Non-Separable Preferences," Working Papers UWEC-2006-26-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  3. A. Abel, 2010. "Asset prices under habit formation and catching up with the Jones," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1395, David K. Levine.
  4. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2001. "On relative-wealth effects and long-run growth," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 349-358, December.
  5. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2001. " Status, the Distribution of Wealth, and Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(2), pages 283-93, June.
  6. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  7. Ryder, Harl E, Jr & Heal, Geoffrey M, 1973. "Optimum Growth with Intertemporally Dependent Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-33, January.
  8. Michael Rauscher, 1997. "Conspicuous consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 35-42, February.
  9. A. Bovenberg & Ben Heijdra, 2002. "Environmental Abatement and Intergenerational Distribution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(1), pages 45-84, September.
  10. Fisher, Walter H. & Hof, Franz X., 2005. "Status seeking in the small open economy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 209-232, June.
  11. Bettendorf, Leon J.H. & Heijdra, Ben J., 2006. "Population ageing and pension reform in a small open economy with non-traded goods," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2389-2424, December.
  12. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  13. Ben J. Heijdra & Ward E. Romp, 2007. "Retirement, Pensions, and Ageing," CESifo Working Paper Series 1974, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  15. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
  16. Wen-Fang Liu & Stephen Turnovsky, 2003. "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities, and the Accumulation of Capital," Working Papers UWEC-2002-13-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
  17. Frenkel, Jacob A & Razin, Assaf, 1986. "Fiscal Policies in the World Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 564-94, June.
  18. Walter Fisher & F. Hof, 2008. "The quest for status and endogenous labor supply: the relative wealth framework," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(2), pages 109-144, March.
  19. Andrew B. Abel, 2005. "Optimal Taxation when Consumers Have Endogenous Benchmark Levels of Consumption," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 21-42.
  20. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  21. Gali, J., 1992. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices," Papers 92-22, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  22. Calvo, Guillermo A & Obstfeld, Maurice, 1988. "Optimal Time-Consistent Fiscal Policy with Finite Lifetimes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 411-32, March.
  23. Frank, Robert H, 1985. "The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 101-16, March.
  24. Futagami, Koichi & Shibata, Akihisa, 1998. "Keeping one step ahead of the Joneses: Status, the distribution of wealth, and long run growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 109-126, July.
  25. Buiter, Willem H., 1984. "Fiscal Policy in Open, Interdependent Economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 28, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  27. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Goncalo Monteiro & Stephen J. Turnovsky, 2004. "Habit Formation, Catching Up with the Joneses, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 47-80, 03.
  28. Van Long, Ngo & Shimomura, Koji, 2004. "Relative wealth, status-seeking, and catching-up," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 529-542, April.
  29. Ben J. Heijdra & Ward E. Romp, 2008. "A life-cycle overlapping-generations model of the small open economy," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 88-121, January.
  30. Heijdra, B.J. & Ligthart, J.E., 2004. "The Macroeconomic Dynamics of Demographic Shocks," Discussion Paper 2004-90, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  31. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1994. "The Intertemporal Approach to the Current Account," NBER Working Papers 4893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Walter Fisher & Franz Hof, 2000. "Relative consumption, economic growth, and taxation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 241-262, October.
  33. repec:dgr:kubcen:1998100 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. Fisher, Walter H., 2001. "Status Preference, Wealth, and Dynamics in the Open Economy," Economics Series 99, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  35. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
  36. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
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