IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/7518.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: A Theory of Intergenerational Exchange

Author

Listed:
  • Antonio Rangel

Abstract

This paper develops a theory of intergenerational exchange for generations that are either selfish or have non-dynastic altruism. The main building blocks of the theory are forward and backward intergenerational goods (FIGs and BIGs) and the relationship between them. A FIG is a transfer from present to future generations, like parental investments in education and the preservation of the environment. A BIG is a transfer from future to present generations, like pay-as -you-go social security or taking care of elderly parents. We show that there is a fundamental difference between BIGs and FIGs. BIGs generating a positive surplus are self-sustainable, but FIGs never are. However, even with selfish generations, optimal investment in future generations can take place if the equilibrium social norm links BIGs and FIGs. The tools developed here can be used to understand a wide class of intergenerational problems, from the political economy of environmental treaties to the economics of seniority institutions. Two applications are developed in the paper: (1) the political economy of intergenerational public expenditures, and (2) investment in children within the family.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Rangel, 2000. "Forward and Backward Intergenerational Goods: A Theory of Intergenerational Exchange," NBER Working Papers 7518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7518
    Note: AG PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7518.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, retirement, and social security," Economics Working Papers 383, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Repeated Games Played by Overlapping Generations of Players," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 81-92.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    4. Kocherlakota, Narayana R., 1998. "Money Is Memory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 232-251, August.
    5. Antonio Rangel & Richard Zeckhauser, 2001. "Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?," NBER Chapters,in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 113-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
    7. V. Bhaskar, 1998. "Informational Constraints and the Overlapping Generations Model: Folk and Anti-Folk Theorems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 135-149.
    8. Bohn, Henning, 1999. "Will social security and Medicare remain viable as the U.S. population is aging?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-53, June.
    9. Montes Alonso, Ana & Boldrin, Michele, 1998. "Intergenerational transfer institutions public education and public pensions," UC3M Working papers. Economics 6148, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    10. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
    11. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Robert W. Rosenthal, 1993. "Some Inefficiency Implications Of Generational Politics And Exchange," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 27-42, March.
    12. Bendor, Jonathan & Mookherjee, Dilip, 1990. "Norms, Third-Party Sanctions, and Cooperation," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 33-63, Spring.
    13. Laitner, John, 1993. "Intergenerational and interhousehold economic links," Handbook of Population and Family Economics,in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 189-238 Elsevier.
    14. Jacobus A. Doeleman & Todd Sandler, 1998. "The Intergenerational Case of Missing Markets and Missing Voters," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(1), pages 1-15.
    15. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
    16. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-1166, December.
    17. Ray, Debraj, 1987. "Nonpaternalistic intergenerational altruism," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 112-132, February.
    18. B. Douglas Bernheim & Michael D. Whinston, 1990. "Multimarket Contact and Collusive Behavior," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    19. Salant, David J., 1991. "A repeated game with finitely lived overlapping generations of players," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 244-259, May.
    20. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-677, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_609 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Panu Poutvaara, 2006. "On the political economy of social security and public education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 345-365, June.
    3. Antoine Bommier & Ronald Lee & Tim Miller & Stéphane Zuber, 2010. "Who Wins and Who Loses? Public Transfer Accounts for US Generations Born 1850 to 2090," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(1), pages 1-26.
    4. Michele Boldrin & Ana Montes, 2005. "The Intergenerational State Education and Pensions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 651-664.
    5. Abhijit Banerjee, 2007. "Educational Policy and the Economics of the Family," Working Papers id:1186, eSocialSciences.
    6. Andreas Wagener, 2002. "Intergenerational Transfer Schemes as Incomplete Social Contracts," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 337-359, December.
    7. Kent Smetters, 2001. "The Equivalence of the Social Security's Trust Fund Portfolio Allocation and Capital Income Tax Policy," NBER Working Papers 8259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Poutvaara, Panu, 2004. "Gerontocracy revisited: unilateral transfer to the young may benefit the middle-aged," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-174, January.
    9. Findeis, Jill L., 2002. "Subjective Equilibrium Theory of the Farm Household: Theory Revisited and New Directions," Workshop on the Farm Household-Firm Unit: Its Importance in Agriculture and Implications for Statistics, April 12-13,2002, Wye Campus, Imperial College 15723, International Agricultural Policy Reform and Adjustment Project (IAPRAP).
    10. Cigno, A., 2016. "Conflict and Cooperation Within the Family, and Between the State and the Family, in the Provision of Old-Age Security," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    11. Banerjee, Abhijit V., 2004. "Educational policy and the economics of the family," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 3-32, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7518. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.