Department of Economics

Borrowing Constraints, Parental Altruism and Welfare

Department of Economics
University of Delaware
Working Paper #2008-12

Borrowing Constraints, Parental Altruism and Welfare

Jorge Soares

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates the impact of borrowing constraints on welfare in a standard overlapping-generations model where parental altruism results in transfers. I find that the average level of welfare is higher when children cannot borrow against future income. As Bernheim (1989) showed, the Nash-Cournot equilibrium does not maximize the average level of utility of currently living agents; the presence of a borrowing constraint increases children's savings and parental transfers bringing their levels closer to the optimum, raising children's welfare as well as average welfare in the short-run and in the long-run. Additionally, borrowing constraints reduce investment on children's education, decreasing the aggregate level of human capital, but raises aggregate savings and, hence, physical capital. When prices are flexible, the latter effect dominates and the positive welfare impact of the credit constraint is higher.

JEL Classification: D91, E21

Key words: borrowing constraints, altruism, overlapping generations, welfare.

The Lerner College is home to a state-of-the-art financial trading facility, the $1.4 million student-led Blue Hen Investment Fund, a student-managed restaurant and hotel, a high-technology development center of a global bank and a start-up experience for students with new business ideas.

Lerner College faculty - like Anu Sivaraman, who is among Social Media Marketing Magazine’s “Top 100 Marketing Professors on Twitter” and MBAprograms.org’s “Top 50 Marketing Professors on Twitter” - are thought leaders who command attention from influential business audiences, economists and policy makers.

All Lerner College departments offer experience-driven learning and emphasize evidence-based analytics methods to enrich the student experience. Here, finance students visit New York City’s financial districts for a first-hand look at markets trading and to meet with UD alumni.

Charles W. Horn, AS75, and wife Patricia, recently made a $3 million commitment to enhance and expand entrepreneurial studies.

  • Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics
    303 Alfred Lerner Hall  •  Newark, DE 19716  •  USA  •  ©