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The Dynamics of Inequality and Social Security in General Equilibrium

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  • Zheng Song

    (Fudan University)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the dynamic politico-economic equilibrium of a model where repeated voting on social security and the evolution of household characteristics in general equilibrium are mutually affected over time. In particular, we incorporate within-cohort heterogeneity in a two-period Overlapping-Generation model to capture the intra-generational redistributive effect of social security transfers. Political decision-making is represented by a probabilistic voting à la Lindbeck and Weibull (1987). We analytically characterize the Markov perfect equilibrium, in which social security tax rates are shown to be increasing in wealth inequality. A dynamic interaction between inequality and social security leads to larger social security programs. In a model calibrated to the U.S. economy, the dynamic interaction is shown to be quantitatively important: It accounts for more than half of the social security growth in the dynamics. We also perform some normative analysis, showing that the politico-economic equilibrium outcomes can be fundamentally different from the Ramsey allocation. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2011.05.001
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 613-635

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:09-145

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Keywords: Inequality; Intra-generational redistribution; Markov perfect equilibrium; Probabilistic voting; Social security;

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Cited by:
  1. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2008. "A Political Economy Model of Earnings Mobility and Redistribution Policy," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-18-Rev.3, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Aug 2011.
  2. Hideki Konishi & Kozo Ueda, 2013. "Aging and Deflation from a Fiscal Perspective," IMES Discussion Paper Series 13-E-13, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  3. 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).
  4. Zheng Song, 2009. "Rotten Parents and Disciplined Children: A Politico-Economic Theory of Public Expenditure and Debt," 2009 Meeting Papers 94, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Zheng Song & Kaiji Chen, 2009. "Markovian Social Security in Unequal Societies," 2009 Meeting Papers 318, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Monisankar Bishnu & Min Wang, 2013. "The Political intergenerational welfare state: A Unified framework," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 13-08, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  7. Tetsuo Ono, 2013. "Public Education and Social Security: A Political Economy Approach," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-06-Rev, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  8. Tetsuo Ono, 2013. "Public Education and Social Security: A Political Economy Approach," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 13-06, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  9. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2011. "A Political Economy Theory of Government Debt and Social Security," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 11-33, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  10. Andreas Bachmann & Kaspar Wüthrich, 2013. "Evaluating pay-as-you-go social security systems," Diskussionsschriften dp1310, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  11. Tetsuo Ono, 2014. "Economic Growth and the Politics of Intergenerational Redistribution," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-17, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  12. Kuhle, Wolfgang, 2012. "Dynamic efficiency and the two-part golden rule with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 992-1006.
  13. Wang, Min & Zhao, Jinhua & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2013. "Optimal Health and Environmental Policies in a Pollution-Growth Nexus," Staff General Research Papers 35994, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

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