The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Transversality Condition

  • Robert A. Becker
Reference work entry


The transversality condition for an infinite horizon dynamic optimization problem is the boundary condition determining a solution to the problem’s first-order conditions together with the initial condition. The transversality condition requires the present value of the state variables to converge to zero as the planning horizon recedes towards infinity. The first-order and transversality conditions are sufficient to identify an optimum in a concave optimization problem. Given an optimal path, the necessity of the transversality condition reflects the impossibility of finding an alternative feasible path for which each state variable deviates from the optimum at each time and increases discounted utility.


Arbitrage Asset pricing models Bubbles Capital accumulation programmes Competitive equilibrium Depreciation Euler equations Infinite horizons Optimal growth paths Ramsey model Transversality condition 

JEL Classifications

D4 D10 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.