Intergenerational Altruism and Social Welfare: A Critique of the Dynastic Model
In this paper, I show that, under relatively weak conditions, dynastic equilibria are never welfare optima. If a social planner sets policy to maximize a social welfare function, then, except in extreme cases where the planner cares only about a single generation, successive generations will never be linked through altruistically motivated transfers. This suggests that the dynastic model is unsuitable for normative analysis, and, to the extent governments actually behave in this manner, the model is also inappropriate for positive analysis. In addition, I show that, except in a few special cases, the planner's preferences are dynamically inconsistent. If the planner can successfully resolve this inconsistency, then the central result is somewhat modified.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1987|
|Publication status:||published as "Intergenerational Altruism, Dynastic Equilibria, and Social Welfare." Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 56, pp. 118-128, January 1989.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- R. A. Pollak, 1968. "Consistent Planning," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(2), pages 201-208.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985.
"The Strategic Bequest Motive,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-1076, December.
- Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Perceived Wealth in Bonds and Social Security: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 331-336, April.
- Christophe Chamley, 1980.
"The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation in a Growing Economy,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
553, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Chamley, Christophe, 1981. "The Welfare Cost of Capital Income Taxation in a Growing Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 468-496, June.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Bagwell, Kyle, 1988.
"Is Everything Neutral?,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 308-338, April.
- Stephen A. O'Connell & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Ponzi Games and Ricardian Equivalence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 12-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Andrew B. Abel & B. Douglas Bernheim, 1988.
"Fiscal Policy With Impure Intergenerational Altruism,"
NBER Working Papers
2613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Abel, Andrew B & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1991. "Fiscal Policy with Impure Intergenerational Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1687-1711, November.
- Roberts, Russell D, 1984. "A Positive Model of Private Charity and Public Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 136-148, February.
- Kenneth L. Judd, 1984.
"The Welfare Cost of Factor Taxation in a Perfect Foresight Model,"
643, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "The Welfare Cost of Factor Taxation in a Perfect-Foresight Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 675-709, August.
- Willem H. Buiter & James Tobin, 1978. "Fiscal and Monetary Policies, Capital Formation, and Economic Activity," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 512, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2288. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.