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Uncertain Policy for an Uncertain World: The Case of Social Security: Working Paper 2006-05

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  • John Sabelhaus
  • Julie Topoleski
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    Abstract

    Analysis and discussion of Social Security policy are usually based on expected fiscal and societal outcomes. However, future demographic and economic trends are uncertain, and thus ultimate outcomes for aggregate system financial flows and the distribution of taxes and benefits across generations are uncertain. This paper analyzes a state-dependent approach to policy in which future Social Security benefit formulas are tied to realized economic and demographic outcomes over time. The results, based on a microsimulation model with stochastic capabilities, show the extent to which it is possible to systematically address uncertainty about system finances and distributional outcomes.

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    File URL: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/ftpdocs/70xx/doc7090/2006-05.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Congressional Budget Office in its series Working Papers with number 17664.

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    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:cbo:wpaper:17664

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    1. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2001. "How effective is redistribution under the social security benefit formula?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-28, October.
    2. Lee, Ronald & Yamagata, Hisashi, 2003. "Sustainable Social Security: What Would It Cost?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 27-43, March.
    3. Ronald Lee & Ryan Edwards, 2002. "The Fiscal Effects of Population Aging in the U.S.: Assessing the Uncertainties," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16, pages 141-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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