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This paper provides a long-run cycle perspective to explain the behavior of the annual flow of inheritance. Based on the low- and medium frequency properties of long time bequests series in Sweden, France, UK, and Germany, we explore the extent to which a two-sector Barro-type OLG model is consistent with such empirical regularities. As long as agents are sufficiently impatient and preferences are non-separable, we show that endogenous fluctuations are likely to occur through two mechanisms, which can generate independently or together either period-2 cycles or Hopf bifurcations. The first mechanism relies on the elasticity of intertemporal substitution or equivalently the sign of the cross-derivative of the utility function whereas the second rests on sectoral technologies through the sign of the capital intensity difference across two sectors. Furthermore, building on the quasi-palindromic nature of the degree-4 characteristic equation, we derive some meaningful sufficient conditions associated to the occurrence of complex roots and a Hopf bifurcation in a two-sector OLG model.
We examine the impact of balanced-budget labor income taxes on the existence of expectation-driven business cycles in a two-sector version of the Schmitt-Grohé and Uribe (SGU) [(1997) Journal of Political Economy 105, 976–1000] model with constant government expenditures and counter-cyclical taxes. Our results show that the destabilizing impact of labor income taxes strongly depends on the capital intensity difference across sectors. Local indeterminacy is indeed more likely when the consumption good sector is capital intensive, as the minimal tax rate decreases, and less likely when the investment good sector is capital intensive, as the minimal tax rate increases. The implication of this result can be quantitatively significant. Indeed, when compared to SGU, local indeterminacy can be either completely ruled out for all OECD countries when the investment good is sufficiently capital intensive or drastically improved, delivering indeterminacy for a larger set of OECD countries, if the consumption good is sufficiently capital intensive. Focusing however on recent estimates of the sectoral capital shares corresponding to the empirically plausible case of a capital intensive consumption good, we find that there is a significant increase of the range of economically relevant labor tax rates (from a minimum tax rate of 30% to 24.7%) for which local indeterminacy arises with respect to the aggregate formulation of SGU.
In this paper we investigate if government balanced-budget rules together with endogenous taxation may lead to aggregate instability in an endogenous growth framework. After highlighting the differences with the exogenous growth framework, we prove that under counter-cyclical consumption taxes, while there exists a unique balanced growth path, sunspot equilibria based on self-fulfilling expectations occur through a form of global indeterminacy. In addition, we argue that this result is empirically plausible for a large set of OECD countries and that it may also emerge with endogenous income taxes.
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.
We consider an economy with three cities producing different outputs. Two cities produce intermediate goods, a type 1 city producing an intermediate “agricultural” good with capital and labor only, and a type 2 city producing an intermediate “industrial” good with capital, labor, and human capital. A type 3 city produces the final good which is obtained from the two intermediate goods and labor. The asymmetric introduction of human capital allows us to prove that the three cities experience, at equilibrium, heterogeneous endogenous growth rates which are proportional to the growth rate of human capital. We show that the “industrial” type 2 city is characterized by the larger growth rate while the “agricultural” type 1 city experiences the lower growth rate, and thus the type 3 city is characterized by a growth rate which is a convex combination of the two former growth rates. This implies that the relative size in terms of output of the “agricultural” city decreases over time. This property allows us to recover the empirical fact that most non-agricultural production occurs in growing metropolitan areas. But, simultaneously, as we prove that total labor employed in each city is proportional to the total population, the relative population size distribution of cities is constant over time, as shown in empirical studies.
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.
We study the existence of endogenous competitive equilibrium cycles under small discounting in a two-sector discrete-time optimal growth model. We provide precise concavity conditions on the indirect utility function leading to the existence of period-two cycles with a critical value for the discount factor that can be arbitrarily close to one. Contrary to the continuous-time case where the existence of periodic-cycles is obtained if the degree of concavity is close to zero, we show that in a discrete-time setting the driving condition does not require a close to zero degree of concavity but a symmetry of the indirect utility function’s concavity properties with respect to its two arguments.