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Optimal Response to a Demographic Shock

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  • Juan C. Conesa
  • Carlos Garriga

Abstract

We examine the optimal policy response to an exogenously given demographic shock. Such a shock affects negatively the financing of retirement pensions, and we use optimal fiscal policy in order to determine the optimal strategy of the social security administration. Our approach provides specific policy responses in an environment that guarantees the financial sustainability of existing retirement pensions. At the same time, pensions will be financed in a way that by construction generates no welfare losses for any of the cohorts in our economy. In contrast to existing literature we endogenously determine optimal policies rather than exploring implications of exogenously given policies. Our results show that the optimal strategy is based in the following ingredients: elimination of compulsory retirement, a change in the structure of labor income taxation and a temporary increase in the level of government debt.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1393.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1393

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  1. Boldrin, Michele & Montes, Ana, 2002. "The Intergenerational State: Education and Pensions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1998. "Projected U.S. demographics and social security," Working Paper Series WP-98-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
  4. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
  5. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
  7. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1996. "Intergenerational Redistribution with Short-Lived Governments," NBER Working Papers 5447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Social Security," NBER Working Papers 8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  9. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
  10. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  11. Carlos Garriga-Calvet, 2000. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1772, Econometric Society.
  12. Juan Carlos Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2004. "Optimal Design of Social Security Reforms," Working Papers 140, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  13. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
  14. Karsten Jeske, 2003. "Pension systems and aggregate shocks," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 15-31.
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