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The Hayek Pension: An efficient minimum pension to complement the welfare state

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  • Jakob von Weizsäcker

Abstract

A means tested minimum income for old age creates an incentive for some not to save for old age and instead to free ride. Recent literature is undecided to what extent this inefficient savings distortion should be addressed by a compulsory pension system because resulting labour-leisure distortions could be even worse. In a simple optimal taxation framework we show that it is Pareto improving to fully eliminate the savings distortion by means of a compulsory pension termed “Hayek pension” that decreases with after-tax lifetime earnings, with zero pension benefits for middle and high incomes. A combination of the Hayek pension and the contribution dependent Bismarck pension is found to be superior to the tax financed flat benefit Beverage pension.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1064.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1064

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  1. Martin Feldstein, 1982. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 0970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert Fenge & Jakob Weizsäcker, 2001. "Compulsory Savings: Efficiency and Redistribution On the Interaction of Means Tested Basic Income and Public Pensions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 637-652, August.
  3. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1999. "New Evidence on the Money's Worth of Individual Annuities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1299-1318, December.
  4. Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Scholarly Articles 2770498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-82, December.
  6. Homburg, Stefan, 2000. "Compulsory savings in the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 233-239, August.
  7. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  8. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  9. Feldstein, Martin S, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 468-84, June.
  10. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 1998. "Social insurance, majority voting and labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 397-420, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre Pestieau & Uri Possen, 2008. "Prodigality And Myopia-Two Rationales For Social Security," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 76(6), pages 629-652, December.

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