Second-best national saving and growth with intergenerational disagreement
We illustrate the contrast between two sources of intergenerational disagreement when generations are overlapping and governments aggregate preferences in a utilitarian manner. Social preferences tend to exhibit a present-bias because generations are imperfectly altruistic about future generations; but they tend to exhibit a future-bias because coexisting generations are imperfectly altruistic about currently older generations. When the future-bias dominates, society faces an intergenerational equity problem, in which case the present-day government tends to support institutions that enable commitments to lower growth at the expense of future generations. This is so even with perfect altruism about future generations.
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