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The aim of this paper is to study the role of the distribution of income by age group on the existence of speculative bubbles. A crucial question is whether this distribution may promote a bubble associated to a larger level of capital, that is a productive bubble. We address these issues in an overlapping generations model where agents live three periods and productive investment done in the first period of life is an illiquid investment whose return occurs in the following two periods. A bubble is a liquid speculative investment that facilitates intertemporal consumption smoothing. We show that the distribution of income by age group determines both the existence and the effect of bubbles on aggregate production. We also show that fiscal policy, by changing the distribution of income, may facilitate or prevent the existence of bubbles and may also modify the effect that bubbles have on aggregate production.
This paper is an introduction to the special issue of Mathematical Social Sciences on Advances in growth and macroeconomic dynamics in memory of Carine Nourry.
This paper is a tribute for Carine Nourry for this special issue of Mathematical Social Sciences.
The relationship between public debt, growth and volatility is investigated in a Barro-type (1990) endogenous growth model, with three main features: we consider a small open economy, international borrowing is constrained and households have taste for domestic public debt. Therefore, capital, public debt and the international asset are not perfect substitutes and the economy is characterized by an investment multiplier. Whatever the level of the debt-output ratio, the existing BGP features expectation-driven fluctuations. If the debt-output ratio is low enough, there is also a second BGP with a lower growth rate. Hence, a lower debt does not stabilize the economy with credit market imperfections. However, a high enough taste for domestic public debt may rule out the BGP with lower growth. This means that if the share of public debt held by domestic households is high enough, global indeterminacy does not occur.
This paper analyzes the effect of a pay-as-you-go pension system on the evolution of capital and pollution, and on the efficiency of an environmental versus health policy. In an overlapping generations model, we introduce endogenous longevity that depends on pollution and health expenditures. Global dynamics may display multiple balanced growth paths (BGPs). We show that by discouraging savings, a policy that promotes the pension system enlarges the environmental poverty trap. More surprisingly, the environmental policy has contrasting effects according to the significance of the pension system. If it has a small size, a more environmentally-friendly policy enlarges the environmental poverty trap and leads to a rise in capital over pollution at the highest stationary equilibrium. In contrast, in economies where intergenerational solidarity is well developed, capital over pollution decreases at the highest BGP. In such a case, the environmental policy does not necessarily lead to a better longevity and growth.
We consider an overlapping generations economy in which agents differ through their ability to procreate. Ex-ante infertile households may incur health expenditure to increase their chances of parenthood. This health heterogeneity generates welfare inequalities that deserve to be ruled out. We explore three different criteria of social evaluation in the long-run: the utilitarian approach, the ex-ante egalitarian criterion and the ex-post egalitarian one. We propose a set of economic instruments to decentralize each solution. To correct for the externalities and health inequalities, both a preventive (a taxation of capital) and a redistributive policy are required. We show that a more egalitarian allocation is associated with higher productive investment but reduced health expenditure and thus, lower population growth.
This paper analyzes the link between asset bubbles, endogenous labor and capital. First, we explicitly and theoretically derive the conditions to have a crowding-in effect of the bubble, i.e. higher levels of capital and labor. Second, the utility function we consider shows that this result does not require an arbitrarily high elasticity of intertemporal substitution in consumption.
The aim of this paper is to study the interplay between long term productive investments and more short term and liquid speculative ones. A three-period lived overlapping generations model allows us to make this distinction. Agents have a portfolio decision. When young, they can invest in human capital that is a productive long term investment that provides a return during the following two periods. When young or in the middle age, they can invest in a bubble. Young individuals can also borrow on a credit market to finance the productive investment. However, the amount borrowed is limited by a credit constraint. We show that the existence of a stationary bubble raises productive investment and production when the bubleless economy is credit constrained and dynamically efficient. Indeed, young agents sell short the bubble to increase productive investments, whereas traders at middle age transfer wealth to old age. The bubble allows to relax the credit constraint. We outline that a permanent technological shock inducing either a larger return of capital in the short term or a similar increase in the return of capital in both periods raises productive capital, production and the bubble size. We use our framework to discuss the effect on the occurrence of bubbles of financial regulation and fiscal policy.
The interplay between growth and public debt is addressed considering a Barro‐type (1990) endogenous growth model where public spendings are financed through taxes on income and public debt. The government has a target level of public debt relative to GDP, and the long‐run debt‐to‐GDP ratio is used as a policy parameter. We show that when debt is a large enough proportion of GDP, two distinct balanced‐growth paths (BGPs) may coexist, one being indeterminate. We exhibit two types of important trade‐offs associated with self‐fulfilling expectations. First, we show that the lowest BGP is always decreasing with respect to the debt‐to‐GDP ratio while the highest one is increasing. Second, we show that the highest BGP, which provides the highest welfare, is always locally indeterminate while the lowest is always locally determinate. Therefore, local and global indeterminacy may arise and self‐fulfilling expectations appear as a crucial ingredient to understand the impact of debt on growth, welfare, and macroeconomic fluctuations. Finally, a simple calibration exercise allows to provide an understanding of the recent experiences of many OECD countries.
Several papers explain why asset bubbles are observed when growth is large. These papers differ in the role of the bubble, used to provide liquidities or as collateral in a borrowing constraint. We compare the liquidity and collateral roles of bubbles in an overlapping generations model. When the bubble is deterministic, the equilibrium is identical under these two roles, implying that the same mechanism explains the crowding-in effect of the bubble on growth. With stochastic bubbles, growth is larger when bubbles play the liquidity role, because the burst of a bubble used for liquidity is less damaging to capital investors.
We analyze the effects of a debt relief, that is, a decrease in public debt of a low-income country financed by a high-income country, on environmental quality. Under perfect mobility of assets, the debt relief increases the overall capital stock, and environmental quality when public abatements are sufficiently efficient. Welfare in both countries can also improve. Under a weak mobility of assets, capital does no more increase in the richest country, but environmental quality can improve. This comes from a crowding-out effect of debt in the high-income country, which does no more take place when the mobility of assets is significant.
We study whether fiscal policies, especially public debt, can help to curb the macroeconomic and health consequences of epidemics. Our approach is based on three main features: we introduce the dynamics of epidemics in an overlapping generations model to take into account that old people are more vulnerable; people are more easily infected when pollution is high; public spending in health care and public debt can be used to tackle the effects of epidemics. We show that fiscal policies can promote convergence to a stable disease-free steady state. When public policies are not able to permanently eradicate the epidemic, public debt, and income transfers could reduce the number of infected people and increase capital and GDP per capita. As a prerequisite, pollution intensity should not be too high. Finally, we define a household subsidy policy that eliminates income and welfare inequalities between healthy and infected individuals.