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A quantitative theory of social security without commitment

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  • Mateos-Planas, Xavier

Abstract

This paper investigates the determination of social security within a general equilibrium, overlapping-generations model where agents live for many periods, and replacement rates are determined through voting in each period by forward looking agents. The distinctive feature is the study of Markov equilibrium policy outcomes which do not rest on a commitment mechanism. Versions of the model are calibrated to the US economic, policy, and demographic conditions. Even in the absence of commitment, the policy preferences of tax-paying working-age voters sustain a positive level of retirement benefits. This follows because the current choices about social security will have, at the time when the current voters will retire, a positive impact on the political support for social security and on the returns to savings. On the other hand, the projected decline in the U.S. population growth rate causes the replacement rate and the tax rate to decline. This quantitative response without commitment differs from that in the case when policies are committed at time zero.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (April)
Pages: 652-671

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:3-4:p:652-671

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Cited by:
  1. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2009. "Demographics and the politics of capital taxation in a life-cycle economy," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0909, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  2. Martín Gonzalez Eiras, 2010. "Social Security as Markov Equilibrium in OLG Models: A Note," Working Papers 105, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2010.

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