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Death, Population Growth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Willem H. Buiter, 1986. "Death, Population Growth, Productivity Growth and Debt Neutrality," NBER Working Papers 2027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2027
    Note: ME

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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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    Cited by:

    1. Hippolyte d’Albis, 2003. "La croissance démographique dans les modèles à générations imbriquées," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 54(3), pages 573-582.
    2. d'Albis, Hippolyte, 2007. "Demographic structure and capital accumulation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 411-434, January.
    3. D'ALBIS Hippolyte & AUGERAUD-VÉRON Emmanuelle, 2009. "Continuous-Time Overlapping Generations Models," LERNA Working Papers 09.15.291, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    4. C. Kerdrain & V. Lapègue, 2011. "Restrictive Fiscal Policies in Europe: What are the Likely Effects?," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2011-17, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.

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