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

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6684.

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Date of creation: Aug 1998
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Publication status: published as Harrison, Glenn, Svend E. Hougaard Jensen, Lars Haagen Pedersen, and Thomas F. Rutherford (eds.) Using Dynamic CGE Models for Policy Analysis. North Holland, 2000.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6684
Note: PE
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  1. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Jonathan Skinner, 1981. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," NBER Working Papers 0819, 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. John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1972. "A General Equilibrium Calculation of the Effects of Differential Taxation of Income from Capital in the U.S," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 328, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. 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 349-60, April.
  8. 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.
  9. Laitner, John, 1984. "Transition time paths for overlapping-generations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 111-129, May.
  10. 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 437-41, June.
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