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Designing a linear pension scheme with forced savings and wage heterogeneity

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  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Philippe Donder
  • Dario Maldonado
  • Pierre Pestieau

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal linear pension scheme when society consists of rational and myopic individuals. Myopic individuals have, ex ante, a strong preference for the present even though, ex post, they would regret not to have saved enough. While rational and myopic persons share the same ex post intertemporal preferences, only the rational agents make their savings decisions according to these preferences. Individuals are also distinguished by their productivity. The social objective is “paternalistic”: the utilitarian welfare function depends on ex post utilities. We examine how the presence of myopic individuals affects both the size of the pension system and the degree of redistribution it operates. The relationship between proportion of myopic individuals and characteristics of the pension system turns out to be much more complex than one would have conjectured. Neither the impact on the level of pensions nor the effect on their redistributive degree are unambiguous. Nevertheless, we show that under some plausible assumptions adding myopic individuals increases the level of pension benefits and leads to a shift from a flat or even targeted scheme to a partially contributory one. However, we also provide an example where the degree of redistribution is not a monotonic function of the proportion of myopic individuals.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-007-9031-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 547-562

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:15:y:2008:i:5:p:547-562

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

Related research

Keywords: Social security; Myopia; Dual-self model; H55; D91;

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References

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  1. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
  2. 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.
  3. CREMER, Helmuth & De DONDER, Philippe & MALDONADO, Dario & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Forced saving, redistribution, and nonlinear social security schemes," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2147, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Martin Feldstein, 1982. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 0970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. PESTIEAU , Pierre & POSSEN , Uri, 2008. "Prodigality and myopia. Two rationales for social security," CORE Discussion Papers 2008011, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • 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.
  7. Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics 0012002, EconWPA.
  8. George-Marios Angeletos, 2001. "The Hyberbolic Consumption Model: Calibration, Simulation, and Empirical Evaluation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 47-68, Summer.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2010. "Myopia, redistribution and pensions," CORE Discussion Papers 2010038, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Matteo Bassi, 2008. "An Egg Today and a Chicken Tomorrow: A Model of Social Security with Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting," CSEF Working Papers 205, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  3. Caliendo, Frank N., 2011. "Time-inconsistent preferences and social security: Revisited in continuous time," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 668-675, May.

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