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Demographic Shock and Social Security: A Political Economy Perspective

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Author Info

  • Georges Casamatta

    ()

  • Helmuth Cremer

    ()

  • Pierre Pestieau

    ()

Abstract

We assume that individual voters differ not only according to age but also productivity. In the steady state, workers with wages in the intermediate range join the retired persons to form a majority and vote for a positive level of social security. When a shock decreases population growth, entrenched interests can constrain majority voting decisions and prevent reforms in the name of entitlements. We show that from a Rawlsian viewpoint it may be desirable to rely on these entitlements to protect the low wage earners of the transition generations. However, when the possibility of fixing a basic pension is introduced, it constitutes a better instrument than entitlements. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 417-431

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:8:y:2001:i:4:p:417-431

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

Related research

Keywords: social security; majority voting; entitlements; aging;

References

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  1. CASAMATTA, Georges & CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1999. "The political economy of social security," CORE Discussion Papers 1999055, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Social Security," CEPR Discussion Papers 394, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. CASAMATTA, Georges & CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1449, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-88, September.
  5. BOADWAY, Robin W. & WILDASIN, David E., . "A median voter model of social security," CORE Discussion Papers RP -839, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Reforming our pension system: Is it a demographic, financial or political problem?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 974-983, May.
  7. Georges Casamatta, 2003. "The Political Power of the Retirees in a Two-Dimensional Voting Model," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(4), pages 571-591, October.
  8. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, retirement, and social security," Economics Working Papers 383, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Richard Disney, 1996. "Can We Afford to Grow Older?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026204157x, December.
  10. BOLDRIN, Michele & RUSTICHINI, Aldo, 1994. "Equilibria with Social Security," CORE Discussion Papers 1994060, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Koethenbuerger, Marko & Poutvaara, Panu & Profeta, Paola, 2008. "Why are more redistributive social security systems smaller? A median voter approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19459, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2008. "Aging, Inequality and Social Security," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-19, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  3. Cremer, H. & Pestieau, P., 2001. "Social insurance competition between Bismarck and Beveridge," CORE Discussion Papers 2001031, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Christian Keuschnigg & Mirela Keuschnigg, 2004. "Aging, Labor Markets and Pension Reform in Austria," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2004 2004-03, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  5. Isilda Mara & Edlira Narazani, 2011. "Labour-incentive reforms at preretirement age in Austria," Empirica, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 481-510, November.
  6. Anna Montén & Marcel Thum, 2008. "Ageing Municipalities, Gerontocracy and Fiscal Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 2469, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Michael Berlemann & Marco Oestmann & Marcel Thum, 2010. "Demographic Change and Bank Profitability. Empirical Evidence from German Savings Banks," CESifo Working Paper Series 2911, CESifo Group Munich.

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