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The macroeconomics of TANSTAAFL

  • Grossmann, Volker
  • Steger, Thomas M.
  • Trimborn, Timo

This paper shows that dynamic inefficiency can occur in dynamic general equilibrium models with fully optimizing, infinitely-lived households even in a situation with underinvestment. We identify necessary conditions for such a possibility and illustrate it in a standard R&D-based growth model. Calibrating the model to the US, we show that a moderate increase in the R&D subsidy indeed leads to an intertemporal free lunch (i.e., an increase in per capita consumption at all times). Hence, Milton Friedman's conjecture There ain't no such thing as a free lunch (TANSTAAFL) may not apply.

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File URL: https://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/52727/1/67591986X.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science in its series Working Papers with number 101.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:leiwps:101
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Web page: http://www.wifa.uni-leipzig.de/en/dekanat.html

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  1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 2005. "Growth with Quality-Improving Innovations: An Integrated Framework," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 67-110 Elsevier.
  2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  3. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M. & Trimborn, Timo, 2011. "Dynamically optimal R&D subsidization," Working Papers 97, University of Leipzig, Faculty of Economics and Management Science.
  4. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
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  7. Volker Grossmann & Thomas M. Steger & Timo Trimborn, 2010. "Quantifying Optimal Growth Policy," DEGIT Conference Papers c015_051, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  8. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  9. Karl-Josef Koch & Timo Trimborn & Thomas M. Steger, 2005. "Multi-Dimensional Transitional Dynamics: A Simple Numerical Procedure," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 121-05, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  10. Vincent Martinet & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Combining Rights and Welfarism: a new approach to intertemporal evaluation of social alternatives," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-14, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  11. Grossmann, Volker & Steger, Thomas M., 2013. "Optimal growth policy: The role of skill heterogeneity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 119(2), pages 162-164.
  12. Andrew Abel & Gregory N. Mankiw & Lawrence H. Summers & Richard Zeckhauser, . "Assessing Dynamic Efficiency: Theory and Evidence," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 14-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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  14. Christopher Laincz & Pietro Peretto, 2006. "Scale effects in endogenous growth theory: an error of aggregation not specification," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 263-288, September.
  15. Charles I. Jones & John C. Williams, . "Too Much of a Good Thing? The Economics of Investment in R&D," Working Papers 96005, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  16. Philippe Weil, 2008. "Overlapping Generations: The First Jubilee," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 115-34, Fall.
  17. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
  18. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  19. Jones, Charles I., 2005. "Growth and Ideas," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1063-1111 Elsevier.
  20. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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