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Myopia and pensions in general equilibrium

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  • Frank Caliendo

    ()

  • Emin Gahramanov

Abstract

The US social security tax rate has doubled in the last half century. Does the degree of myopic behavior that we observe in the US justify the size of the social security program? To study this question we build a computable general equilibrium model that is composed of life-cycle permanent-income consumers who save optimally and “hand-to-mouth” consumers who just consume their disposable income. Our model is a continuous-time, general equilibrium extension of the model by Cremer et al. (Int Tax Public Financ 15(5):547–562, 2008 ), though we abstract from the redistributive function of social security to focus on myopia. Retirement is a choice variable in our model and the social security program is designed to mimic the US program in which the annuity value of benefits increases with the retirement age. Also, we allow for delayed claiming beyond the date of retirement. The model matches a variety of important data targets relating to saving and retirement. We find that small reductions in the social security tax rate provide significant welfare gains to both groups of consumers. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 37 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 375-401

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:37:y:2013:i:3:p:375-401

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Related research

Keywords: Myopia; Public Pensions; Retirement; Delayed Claiming; General Equilibrium; E60; H55; C61; J26;

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References

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  1. Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Maldonado, Darío & Pestieau, Pierre, 2006. "Voting Over Type and Generosity of a Pension System When Some Individuals are Myopic," CEPR Discussion Papers 5923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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).
  3. repec:att:wimass:9722 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Erik Hurst & Paul Willen, 2004. "Social Security and Unsecured Debt," NBER Working Papers 10282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Maldonado, Darío & Pestieau, Pierre, 2008. "Forced Saving, Redistribution and Nonlinear Social Security Schemes," CEPR Discussion Papers 6775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2006. "Labor Supply Effects of the Recent Social Security Benefit Cuts: Empirical Estimates Using Cohort Discontinuities," Working Papers 893, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Douglas H. Joines, 2000. "Time inconsistent preferences and Social Security," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 136, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2002. "The Social Security Early Entitlement Age in a Structural Model of Retirement and Wealth," Working Papers wp029, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  9. Gourinchas, Pierre-Olivier & Parker, Jonathan A, 2000. "Consumption Over the Life-Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 2345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. CREMER, Helmuth & LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Social security, retirement age and optimal income taxation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1722, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Heijdra, B.J. & Ligthart, J.E., 2004. "The Macroeconomic Dynamics of Demographic Shocks," Discussion Paper 2004-90, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. T. Findley & Frank Caliendo, 2008. "The behavioral justification for public pensions: a survey," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 409-425, October.
  13. Samwick, Andrew A., 1998. "New evidence on pensions, social security, and the timing of retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 207-236, November.
  14. Alessandro Bucciol, 2006. "The Roles of Temptation and Social Security in Explaining Individual Behavior," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0032, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  15. Gruber, Jonathan & Wise, David, 1998. "Social Security and Retirement: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 158-63, May.
  16. Liebman, Jeffrey B. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P. & Seif, David G., 2009. "Labor Supply Responses to Marginal Social Security Benefits: Evidence from Discontinuities," Scholarly Articles 4481678, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  17. Martin Feldstein, 1982. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 0970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Frank N. Caliendo & Emin Gahramanov, 2008. "Hunting the Unobservables for Optimal Social Security: A General Equilibrium Approach," Economics Series 2008_10, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  19. Tomiyama, Ken, 1985. "Two-stage optimal control problems and optimality conditions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 317-337, November.
  20. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Future Social Security Entitlements and the Retirement Decision," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 234-246, May.
  21. T. Findley & Frank Caliendo, 2009. "Short horizons, time inconsistency, and optimal social security," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 487-513, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Torben M. Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 2009. "Unfunded pensions and endogenous labor supply," Economics Working Papers 2009-16, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  2. Emin Gahramanov & Xueli Tang, 2013. "Solving for the Retirement Age in a Continuous-time Model with Endogenous Labor Supply," Economics Series 2013_5, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.

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