April 2006

IZA DP No. 2081: Optimal Accumulation in an Endogenous Growth Setting with Human Capital

published in: Journal of Economic Theory, 2006, 134 (1), 361-378

This paper considers a three-overlapping-generations model of endogenous growth wherein human capital is the engine of growth. It first contrasts the laissez-faire and the optimal solutions. Three possible accumulation regimes are distinguished. Then it discusses a standard set of tax-transfer instruments that allow for decentralization of the social optimum. Within the limits of our model, the rationale for the standard pattern of intergenerational transfers (the working-aged financing the education of the young and the pension of the old) is seriously questioned. On pure efficiency grounds, the case for generous public pensions is rather weak.