Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Why are more redistributive social security systems smaller? A median voter approach

Contents:

Author Info

  • Marko Koethenbuerger
  • Panu Poutvaara
  • Paola Profeta

Abstract

One of the stylized facts of unfunded social security programs is that programs are larger in size, measured relative to the GDP, the tighter the link between pension claims and past earnings. We provide a political economy explanation of this stylized fact in a median voter model, where people vote on the social security tax rate. We compare pension systems with flat-rate and earnings-related benefit formulas. Only flat-rate benefits redistribute within a generation from high to low income groups. If labor supply is endogenous, they also imply larger efficiency costs than earnings-related schemes. Using data on eight European countries, we find that the median voter is typically middle-aged with high income. For these voters, earnings-related systems are more attractive both because of less intragenerational redistribution and lower distortions in labor supply. The median voter model is also able to account for a considerable degree of cross-country variation in contribution rates. Copyright 2008 , Oxford University Press.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oep/gpm043
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 60 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 275-292

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:60:y:2008:i:2:p:275-292

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Email:
Web page: http://oep.oupjournals.org/

Order Information:
Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Paola Profeta, 2007. "The Redistributive Design of Social Security Systems," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 686-712, 04.
  2. Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Social Security," CEPR Discussion Papers 394, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Uebelmesser, Silke, 2003. "Pensions and the path to gerontocracy in Germany," Munich Reprints in Economics 19563, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Krueger, Alan B. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2002. "Labor supply effects of social insurance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 33, pages 2327-2392 Elsevier.
  5. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. " The Political Economy of Social Security," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 503-22, June.
  6. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2005. "Welfare Reform in European Countries: A Microsimulation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 1810, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Mulligan Casey B & Sala-i-Martin Xavier, 2004. "Internationally Common Features of Public Old-Age Pensions, and Their Implications for Models of the Public Sector," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-37, May.
  8. Diamond, Peter A, 1998. "Optimal Income Taxation: An Example with a U-Shaped Pattern of Optimal Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 83-95, March.
  9. Marko Koethenbuerger & Panu Poutvaara & Paola Profeta, 2008. "Why are more redistributive social security systems smaller? A median voter approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 275-292, April.
  10. GALASSO, Vincenzo & PROFETA, Paola, 2003. "Lessons for an aging society: the political sustainability of social security systems," CORE Discussion Papers 2003077, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Svend E. Hougaard Jensen & Morten I. Lau & Panu Poutvaara, 2004. "Efficiency and Equity Aspects of Alternative Social Security Rules," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 325-, September.
  12. Georges Casamatta & Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 2001. "Demographic Shock and Social Security: A Political Economy Perspective," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 417-431, August.
  13. 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.
  14. Boadway, R.W. & Wildasin, D.E., 1987. "A median voter model of social security," CORE Discussion Papers 1987014, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  15. Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "Optimal Income Transfer Programs: Intensive Versus Extensive Labor Supply Responses," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1039-1073, August.
  16. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  17. Panu Poutvaara, 2006. "On the political economy of social security and public education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 345-365, June.
  18. 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.
  19. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
  20. Disney Richard, 2004. "Are contributions to public pension programmes a tax on employment?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 267-311, 07.
  21. repec:ese:emodwp:em1-04 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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).
  23. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "The double dividend of postponing retirement," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1696, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  24. Robert Fenge & Martin Werding, 2004. "Ageing and the tax implied in public pension schemes: simulations for selected OECD countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 159-200, June.
  25. Galasso, Vincenzo, 2000. "The US Social Security: A Financial Appraisal For The Median Voter," CEPR Discussion Papers 2456, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Reforming our pension system: is it a demographic, financial or political problem?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1468, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  27. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-77, September.
  28. 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.
  29. Galasso, Vincenzo & Profeta, Paola, 2002. "The political economy of social security: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:60:y:2008:i:2:p:275-292. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.