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Labor supply elasticity and social security reform

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  • Imrohoroglu, Selahattin
  • Kitao, Sagiri

Abstract

Previous literature on social security reform has used a variety of period utility functions and calibrated values for the intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES) in labor. In this paper, we show that the effects of social security reforms on aggregate labor supply are invariant to plausible values of the IES, but the effect of such reforms on the profile of hours over the life-cycle is highly sensitive to the IES. We first establish these results analytically in a simple partial-equilibrium setting and then demonstrate their robustness in a general equilibrium model calibrated to match key U.S. macroeconomic indicators. We find that the aggregate effects are similar regardless of the wide range of the values of IES used in calibrated economies. However, social security reform leads to a large reallocation of hours worked over the life-cycle, from early years to later working years, and the size of this reallocation significantly increases with the IES.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 867-878

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:7-8:p:867-878

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

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Keywords: Social security reform Labor supply elasticity;

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References

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  1. Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Cyclical and Secular Behavior of the Labor Input : Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Papers 36, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  2. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?," Working Papers wp106, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  4. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
  5. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1985. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 303-20, May.
  10. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  11. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "Projected U.S. demographics and social security," Working Paper Series WP-98-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Douglas H. Joines, 2003. "Time-Inconsistent Preferences And Social Security," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 745-784, May.
  13. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
  14. Orazio Attanasio & Susanne Rohwedder, 2001. "Pension wealth and household saving: evidence from pension reforms in the UK," IFS Working Papers W01/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  15. Luisa Fuster & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu, 2007. "Elimination of Social Security in a Dynastic Framework," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 113-145.
  16. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  17. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  18. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  19. Hubbard, R Glenn & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Social Security and Individual Welfare: Precautionary Saving, Borrowing Constraints, and the Payroll Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 630-46, September.
  20. HUANG, HE & IMROHOROG[caron]LU, SELAHATTIN & SARGENT, THOMAS J., 1997. "Two Computations To Fund Social Security," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 7-44, January.
  21. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
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