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Optimal response to a transitory demographic shock in Social Security financing

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  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Carlos Garriga

Abstract

The authors consider a transitory demographic shock that affects negatively the financing of retirement pensions-that is, workers either would have to pay more or retirees would receive less. In contrast to the existing literature, the authors endogenously determine optimal policies rather than explore the implications of exogenous parametric responses. Their approach identifies optimal strategies of the Social Security Administration to guarantee the financial sustainability of existing retirement pensions in a Pareto-improving way. Hence, no cohort will pay the cost of the demographic shock. The authors find that the optimal strategy is based on the following ingredients: elimination of compulsory retirement, a change in the structure of labor income taxation, and a temporary increase in the level of government debt.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Jan ()
Pages: 33-48

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2009:i:jan:p:33-48:n:v.91no.1

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Keywords: Social security ; Pensions;

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  1. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  3. Boldrin, Michele & Montes, Ana, 2002. "The Intergenerational State: Education and Pensions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
  7. 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.
  8. Juan C. Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal Policy In The Design Of Social Security Reforms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 291-318, 02.
  9. Karsten Jeske, 2003. "Pension systems and aggregate shocks," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 15-31.
  10. 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.
  11. Carlos Garriga, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Working Papers in Economics 66, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  12. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
  13. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Craig P. Aubuchon & Juan Carlos Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2011. "A primer on social security systems and reforms," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 19-35.

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