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The A-K Model: It's Past, Present, and Future

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  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Abstract

Almost two decades have passed since the development of the prototype of the Auerbach-Kotlikoff dynamic life-cycle simulation model. The model has been used to examine a host of policies, including tax reform, tax cuts, investment incentives, tax progressivity, expansion of social security, government spending, monetary policy, endogenous growth, the size of the informal sector, human capital accumulation, and educational policy. It has also been used to study demographic change, the timing of policy impacts, the efficiency gains from fiscal reforms, and the effects of fiscal policies on both the intra- and intergenerational distributions of economic welfare. Auerbach and Kotlikoff and their co-authors have done much of this research. The rest has been done by other economists in academia, government, and multilateral lending institutions, many of whom have developed their own versions of the model. This paper describes the origins of the A-K Model, its current structure, the lessons learned using it, and some of the questions that remain to be addressed. It also considers two issues -- tax reform and social security privatization -- in illustrating the model's current capacities.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1998. "The A-K Model: It's Past, Present, and Future," NBER Working Papers 6684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6684
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    1. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
    2. Charles T. Carlstrom & David Altig, 1999. "Marginal Tax Rates and Income Inequality in a Life-Cycle Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1197-1215, December.
    3. Seidman, Laurence S, 1983. "Taxes in a Life Cycle Growth Model with Bequests and Inheritances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 437-441, June.
    4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1996. "Privatization of Social Security: How It Works and Why It Matters," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 10, pages 1-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
    6. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    7. Shoven, John B. & Whalley, John, 1972. "A general equilibrium calculation of the effects of differential taxation of income from capital in the U.S," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 281-321, November.
    8. 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.
    9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1977. "The Surprising Incidence of a Tax on Pure Rent: A New Answer to an Old Question," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(2), pages 349-360, April.
    10. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Robert Hagemann & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 1989. "The Dynamics of an Aging Population: The Case of Four OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 2797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Laitner, John, 1984. "Transition time paths for overlapping-generations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 111-129, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
    2. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
    3. Fullerton, Don & Metcalf, Gilbert E., 2002. "Tax incidence," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 26, pages 1787-1872 Elsevier.
    4. Axel Boersch-Supan & Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2003. "Pension Reform, Capital Markets and the Rate of Return," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 151-181, May.
    5. MERTENS, Jean-François & RUBINCHIK, Anna, 2006. "Intergenerational equity and the discount rate for cost-benefit analysis," CORE Discussion Papers 2006091, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    6. Alexander Ludwig, 2005. "Moment estimation in Auerbach-Kotlikoff models: How well do they match the data?," MEA discussion paper series 05093, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    7. Zodrow, George R. & Diamond, John W., 2013. "Dynamic Overlapping Generations Computable General Equilibrium Models and the Analysis of Tax Policy: The Diamond–Zodrow Model," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    8. Kiichi Tokuoka, 2012. "Intergenerational Implications of Fiscal Consolidation in Japan," IMF Working Papers 12/197, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Tobias Rasmussen, 2003. "Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Abatement: An Overlapping Generations Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 99-119, January.
    10. Peichl, Andreas, 2005. "Die Evaluation von Steuerreformen durch Simulationsmodelle," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 05-1, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
    11. Catalán, Mario & Guajardo, Jaime & Hoffmaister, Alexander W., 2010. "Coping with Spain's aging: retirement rules and incentives," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(04), pages 549-581, October.
    12. Willy W. Hoffmaister & Jaime Guajardo & Mario Catalan, 2008. "Global Aging and Declining World Interest Rates; Macroeconomic Insurance Through Pension Reform in Cyprus," IMF Working Papers 08/98, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Andres Erosa & Martin Gervais, 2001. "Optimal taxation in infinitely-lived agent and overlapping generations models : a review," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 23-44.
    14. Carlos Renato Salami & Adelar Fochezatto, 2004. "Políticas Fiscais E Seus Efeitos De Longo Prazo No Brasil: Aplicação De Um Modelo De Equilíbrio Geral Com Gerações Sobrepostas," Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 035, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    15. Richard Johnson, 2001. "Fiscal reaction rules in numerical macro models," Research Working Paper RWP 01-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

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    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General

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