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Uncertain Retirement and the Effects of Social Insurance on Savings, Wealth, and Welfare

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  • Turnovsky, Stephen J.
  • Bruce, Neil

Abstract

We construct a Blanchard-style overlapping generations model consisting of long-lived individuals who have uninsurable idiosyncratic risk resulting from uncertain retirement periods and medical costs in retirement. Without social insurance, such individuals must save for these eventualities. We examine the impact of pay-as-you-go social insurance policies (public pensions and medicare coverage) on individual and aggregate consumption, saving, and wealth levels as well as wealth distribution. We also derive expressions for optimal (Pareto improving) social insurance policies. --

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2007-2
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its journal Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal.

Volume (Year): 1 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 1-41

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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:5581

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  1. Jorge Soares, 2001. "Social Security evaluation: A critique," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 139, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1986. " Payroll-Tax Financed Social Insurance with Variable Retirement," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 25-50.
  3. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2002. "The Impact of Social Security and Other Factors on the Distribution of Wealth," NBER Chapters, in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 85-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985. "Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
  5. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  6. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  7. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  8. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
  9. Steven J. Haider & Melvin Stephens, 2007. "Is There a Retirement-Consumption Puzzle? Evidence Using Subjective Retirement Expectations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 247-264, May.
  10. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
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