IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/14128.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Age, Luck, and Inheritance

Author

Listed:
  • Jess Benhabib
  • Shenghao Zhu

Abstract

We present a mechanism to analytically generate a double Pareto distribution of wealth in a continuous time OLG model with optimizing agents who have bequest motives, are subject to stochastic returns on capital and have uncertain lifespans. We disentangle, roughly, the contribution of inheritance, age and stochastic rates of capital return to wealth inequality, in particular to the Gini coefficient. We investigate the role of the fiscal and redistributive policies for wealth inequality and social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Jess Benhabib & Shenghao Zhu, 2008. "Age, Luck, and Inheritance," NBER Working Papers 14128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14128 Note: EFG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14128.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Luisa Fuster, 2000. "Capital Accumulation in an Economy with Dynasties and Uncertain Lifetimes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(4), pages 650-674, October.
    2. Chipman, John S., 1974. "The welfare ranking of Pareto distributions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 275-282, November.
    3. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
    4. Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2007. "To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 207-235.
    5. Sinha, Sitabhra, 2006. "Evidence for power-law tail of the wealth distribution in India," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 359(C), pages 555-562.
    6. Hendricks, Lutz, 2007. "How important is discount rate heterogeneity for wealth inequality?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3042-3068, September.
    7. Drăgulescu, Adrian & Yakovenko, Victor M., 2001. "Exponential and power-law probability distributions of wealth and income in the United Kingdom and the United States," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 299(1), pages 213-221.
    8. Levy, Moshe & Solomon, Sorin, 1997. "New evidence for the power-law distribution of wealth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 242(1), pages 90-94.
    9. Hegyi, Géza & Néda, Zoltán & Augusta Santos, Maria, 2007. "Wealth distribution and Pareto's law in the Hungarian medieval society," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 380(C), pages 271-277.
    10. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
    11. Richard, Scott F., 1975. "Optimal consumption, portfolio and life insurance rules for an uncertain lived individual in a continuous time model," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 187-203, June.
    12. Jess Benhabib & Alberto Bisin, 2006. "The distribution of wealth and redistributive policies," 2006 Meeting Papers 368, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    14. William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 145-160, Fall.
    15. Klass, Oren S. & Biham, Ofer & Levy, Moshe & Malcai, Ofer & Solomon, Sorin, 2006. "The Forbes 400 and the Pareto wealth distribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 290-295, February.
    16. Cagetti, Marco & De Nardi, Mariacristina, 2008. "Wealth Inequality: Data And Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 285-313, September.
    17. Abel, Andrew B & Warshawsky, Mark, 1988. "Specification of the Joy of Giving: Insights from Altruism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 145-149, February.
    18. R. C. Merton, 1970. "Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model," Working papers 58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    19. Levy, Moshe, 2003. "Are rich people smarter?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 42-64, May.
    20. Sornette, Didier, 1998. "Linear stochastic dynamics with nonlinear fractal properties," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 250(1), pages 295-314.
    21. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
    22. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
    23. Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
    24. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    25. Gastwirth, Joseph L, 1971. "A General Definition of the Lorenz Curve," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(6), pages 1037-1039, November.
    26. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    27. Merton, Robert C., 1971. "Optimum consumption and portfolio rules in a continuous-time model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 373-413, December.
    28. Santiago Budria Rodriguez & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2002. "Updated facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 2-35.
    29. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-247, April.
    30. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
    31. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 1999. "On the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, pages 245-272.
    32. Schechtman, Jack & Escudero, Vera L. S., 1977. "Some results on "an income fluctuation problem"," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 151-166, December.
    33. Wang, Neng, 2007. "An equilibrium model of wealth distribution," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 1882-1904, October.
    34. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith & Jr., 1998. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 867-896, October.
    35. Abel, Andrew B, 1985. "Precautionary Saving and Accidental Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 777-791, September.
    36. Huggett, Mark, 1993. "The risk-free rate in heterogeneous-agent incomplete-insurance economies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 17(5-6), pages 953-969.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jess Benhabib & Alberto Bisin, 2016. "Skewed Wealth Distributions: Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 21924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. George-Marios Angeletos & Vasia Panousi, 2011. "Financial Integration, Entrepreneurial Risk and Global Imbalances," NBER Working Papers 16761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Panousi, Vasia, 2009. "Capital Taxation with Entrepreneurial Risk," MPRA Paper 24237, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Jess Benhabib & Alberto Bisin & Shenghao Zhu, 2011. "The Distribution of Wealth and Fiscal Policy in Economies With Finitely Lived Agents," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 123-157, January.
    5. Panousi, Vasia, 2009. "Financial Integration and Capital Accumulation," MPRA Paper 24238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Jason DeBacker & Bradley Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2012. "The properties of income risk in privately held businesses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-69, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Hajargasht, Gholamreza & Griffiths, William E., 2013. "Pareto–lognormal distributions: Inequality, poverty, and estimation from grouped income data," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 593-604.
    8. Gholamreza Hajargasht and William E. Griffiths, 2012. "Pareto-Lognormal Income Distributions:Inequality and Poverty Measures, Estimation and Performance," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1149, The University of Melbourne.
    9. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto & Zhu, Shenghao, 2015. "The wealth distribution in Bewley economies with capital income risk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 159(PA), pages 489-515.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14128. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.