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Welfare and generational equity in sustainable unfunded pension systems

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  • Auerbach, Alan J.
  • Lee, Ronald

Abstract

Using stochastic simulations we analyze how public pension structures spread the risks arising from demographic and economic shocks across generations. We consider several actual and hypothetical sustainable PAYGO pension structures, including: (1) versions of the US Social Security system with annual adjustments of taxes or benefits to maintain fiscal balance; (2) Sweden's Notional Defined Contribution system and several variants developed to improve fiscal stability; and (3) the German system, which also includes annual adjustments to maintain fiscal balance. For each system, we present descriptive measures of uncertainty in representative outcomes for a typical generation and across generations. We then estimate expected utility for generations based on simplifying assumptions and incorporate these expected utility calculations in an overall social welfare measure. Using a horizontal equity index, we also compare the different systems' performance in terms of how neighboring generations are treated.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 16-27

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:1:p:16-27

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

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Keywords: Pensions; PAYGO; Social security;

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References

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  1. Ludwig, Alexander & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Sharing Demographic Risk - Who is Afraid of the Baby Bust?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-47, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  2. Carter, Lawrence R. & Lee, Ronald D., 1992. "Modeling and forecasting US sex differentials in mortality," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 393-411, November.
  3. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  4. Settergren, Ole & Mikula, Boguslaw D., 2005. "The rate of return of pay-as-you-go pension systems: a more exact consumption-loan model of interest," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 115-138, July.
  5. Ronald Lee & Timothy Miller & Michael Anderson, 2004. "Stochastic Infinite Horizon Forecasts for Social Security and Related Studies," NBER Working Papers 10917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lee, Ronald D., 1993. "Modeling and forecasting the time series of US fertility: Age distribution, range, and ultimate level," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 187-202, August.
  7. Ronald Lee & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 1998. "Stochastic Forecasts for Social Security," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 393-428 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2002. "A New Measure of Horizontal Equity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1116-1125, September.
  9. Axel Boersch-Supan & Christina B. Wilke, 2004. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," NBER Working Papers 10525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Auerbach, Alan J. & Lee, Ronald D, 2007. "Notional Defined Contribution Pension Systems in a Stochastic Context: Design and Stability," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt37k785qq, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  11. Legros, Florence, 2003. "Notional Defined Contribution : A Comparison of the French and the German Point Systems," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6478, Paris Dauphine University.
  12. Florence Legros, 2003. "Notional Defined Contribution : a Comparison of the French and the German Point Systems," Working Papers 2003-14, CEPII research center.
  13. Settergren, Ole & Mikula, Boguslaw D., 2005. "The Rate of Return of Pay-As-You-Go Pension Systems: A More Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest," Discussion Paper 249, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  14. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, May.
  15. Valkonen, Tarmo, 2002. "Demographic Uncertainty and Taxes," Discussion Papers 816, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  16. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
  17. Jeffrey R. Brown & Jeffrey B. Liebman & David A. Wise, 2009. "Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brow08-1, May.
  18. Ronald D. Lee & Michael W. Anderson & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 2003. "Stochastic Forecasts of the Social Security Trust Fund," Working Papers wp043, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Akira Okamoto, 2013. "Simulating Public Pension Reforms in an Aging Japan: Welfare Analysis with LSRA Transfers," Public Policy Review, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Japan, vol. 9(4), pages 597-632, September.
  2. Ludwig, Alexander & Reiter, Michael, 2008. "Sharing Demographic Risk - Who is Afraid of the Baby Bust?," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-47, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Knell, Markus, 2013. "The Intergenerational Distribution of Demographic Fluctuations in Unfunded and Funded Pension Systems," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79830, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Nisticò, Sergio & Bevilacqua, Mirko, 2013. "Notional defined contribution (NDC) pension schemes and income patterns," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 7(29), pages 1-24.
  5. Palmer, Edward, 2011. "Generic NDC - Equilibrium, Valuation and Risk Sharing with and without NDC Bonds," Working Paper Series 2011:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  6. Alan Auerbach & Lorenz Kueng & Ronald Lee, 2013. "Propagation and Smoothing of Shocks in Alternative Social Security Systems," NBER Working Papers 19137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Hagen, Johannes, 2013. "A History of the Swedish Pension System," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2013:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  8. Elizabeth Horner, 2014. "Subjective Well-Being and Retirement: Analysis and Policy Recommendations," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 125-144, February.

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