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On Ramsey´s conjecture

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Abstract

Studying a one-sector economy populated by finitely many heterogeneous households that are subject to no-borrowing constraints, we confirm a conjecture by Frank P. Ramsey according to which, in the long run, society would be divided into the set of patient households who own the entire capital stock and impatient ones without any physical wealth. More specifically, we prove (i) that there exists a unique steady state equilibrium that is globally asymptotically stable and (ii) that along every equilibrium the most patient household owns the entire capital of the economy after some finite time. Furthermore, we prove that despite the presence of the no-borrowing constraints all equilibria are efficient. Our results are derived for the continuous-time formulation of the model that was originally used by Ramsey, and they stand in stark contrast to results that – over the last three decades – have been found in the discrete-time version of the model.

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  • Gerhard Sorger & Tapan Mitra, 2013. "On Ramsey´s conjecture," Vienna Economics Papers 1301, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:1301
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    1. Robert Becker & Ram Dubey & Tapan Mitra, 2014. "On Ramsey equilibrium: capital ownership pattern and inefficiency," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 565-600, April.
    2. Becker, Robert A. & Mitra, Tapan, 2012. "Efficient Ramsey Equilibria," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(S1), pages 18-32, April.
    3. Becker, Robert A & Foias, Ciprian, 1994. "The Local Bifurcation of Ramsey Equilibrium," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(5), pages 719-744, August.
    4. Becker, Robert A. & Foias, Ciprian, 1987. "A characterization of Ramsey equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 173-184, February.
    5. Kirill Borissov, 2011. "On Equilibrium Dynamics with Many Agents and Wages Paid ex ante," EUSP Department of Economics Working Paper Series Ec-05/11, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2011.
    6. Robert A. Becker, 1980. "On the Long-Run Steady State in a Simple Dynamic Model of Equilibrium with Heterogeneous Households," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(2), pages 375-382.
    7. Bewley, Truman, 1982. "An integration of equilibrium theory and turnpike theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2-3), pages 233-267, September.
    8. Sorger, Gerhard, 1994. "On the Structure of Ramsey Equilibrium: Cycles, Indeterminacy, and Sunspots," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(5), pages 745-764, August.
    9. Rae, John, 1834. "Statement of Some New Principles on the Subject of Political Economy," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number rae1834.
    10. Truman Bewley, 2010. "An Integration of Equilibrium Theory and Turnpike Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1381, David K. Levine.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Becker & Ram Dubey & Tapan Mitra, 2014. "On Ramsey equilibrium: capital ownership pattern and inefficiency," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(3), pages 565-600, April.
    2. repec:ebl:ecbull:eb-17-00806 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Boucekkine, Raouf & Nishimura, Kazuo & Venditti, Alain, 2015. "Introduction to financial frictions and debt constraints," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 271-275.
    4. Borissov, Kirill & Dubey, Ram Sewak, 2015. "A characterization of Ramsey equilibrium in a model with limited borrowing," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 67-78.
    5. Becker, Robert A. & Borissov, Kirill & Dubey, Ram Sewak, 2015. "Ramsey equilibrium with liberal borrowing," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 296-304.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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