Essays on Saving, Bequests, Altruism, and Life-cycle Planning
Laurence J. KotlikoffISBN: 0262112620; 9780262112628;
This collection of essays, coauthored with other distinguished economists, offers new perspectives on saving, intergenerational economic ties, retirement planning, and the distribution of wealth. The book links life-cycle microeconomic behavior to important macroeconomic outcomes, including the roughly 50 percent postwar decline in America's rate of saving and its increasing wealth inequality. The book traces these outcomes to the government's five-decade-long policy of transferring, in the form of annuities, ever larger sums from young savers to old spenders. The book presents new theoretical and empirical analyses of altruism that rule out the possibility that private intergenerational transfers have offset those by the government. While rational life-cycle behavior can explain broad economic outcomes, the book also shows that a significant minority of households fail to make coherent life-cycle saving and insurance decisions. These mistakes are compounded by reliance...