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Death, Population Growth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality

Listed author(s):
  • Willem H. Buiter

Debt neutrality is said to occur if, given a program for public spending on current goods and services over time, the real equilibrium of the economy (private consumption, investment, relative prices, etc.) is independent of the pattern of government borrowing and lump-sum taxation over time. The paper brings together work of Blanchard on individual uncertain lifetimes and debt neutrality and Weil on population growth and debt neutrality. It is shown that there will be debt neutrality if and only if the sum of the rate of growth of population and the individual probability of death equals zero. If this condition holds, non-zero rates of growth of labor productivity will not destroy debt neutrality.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2027.

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Date of creation: Sep 1986
Publication status: published as "Death, Birth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," From The Economic Journal, Vol. 98, No. 391, pp. 279-293, (June 1988).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2027
Note: ME
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  1. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
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