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Equilibria with Social Security

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Author Info

  • BOLDRIN, Michele

    (J.L.Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and Universidad)

  • RUSTICHINI, Aldo

    (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Abstract

We model pay-as-you-go (PAYG) social security systems as the outcome of majority voting within a standard OLG model with production and an exogenous population growth rate. At each point in time individuals work, save, consume and invest by taking the social security policy as given. The latter consists of a tax on current wages transferred to elderly people. 'When they vote, individuals have to make two choices: if they want to keep the commitment made by the previous generation by paying the elderly the promised amount of benefits, and which amount they want paid to themselves next period. We show that when the growth rate of population is high enough compared to the productivity of capital there exists an equilibrium where PAYG pensions are voted into existence and maintained. PAYG systems are kept even when everybody knows that they will surely be abandoned, and that some generation will pay and not be paid back. We characterize the steady state and dynamic properties of these equilibria and study their welfare properties. Equilibria achieved by voting are typically inefficient; however, they may be so due to over accumulation, as well as, in other cases, due to under accumulation. On the other hand, the efficient steady states turn out to be dynamically unstable: so we are presenting an unpleasant alternative for policy making.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 1994060.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 1994
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1994060

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alessandro Cigno, 2003. "The Political Economy of Intergenerational Cooperation," CHILD Working Papers wp05_03, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  2. Francisco M. Lagos & Juan Antonio Lacomba, 2000. "- Social Security And Political Election In Retirement Age," Working Papers. Serie AD 2000-11, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  3. Marcello D’Amato & Vincenzo Galasso, 2002. "Assessing the Political Sustainability of Parametric Social Security Reforms: the Case of Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 61(2), pages 171-213, December.
  4. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni, 1999. "Is Social Security Really Bad for Growth?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 796-819, October.
  5. Francisco M. Lagos & Juan Antonio Lacomba, 2001. "Election On Retirement Age," Working Papers. Serie AD 2001-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  6. Costas Azariadis & Vincenzo Galasso, 1998. "Constitutional “Rules” and Intergenerational Fiscal Policy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 67-74, March.
  7. Mahieu, Géraldine & Rottier, Stéphane, 1998. "Pensions and Voting Equilibria in an Overlapping Generation Model with Heterogeneous Agents," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999031, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 00 Nov 1999.
  8. Thomas Cooley & Nezih Guner & Elizabeth Caucutt, 2007. "The Farm, The City, and the Emergence of Social Security," 2007 Meeting Papers 113, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Carlos Bethencourt & Vincenzo Galasso, . "On the Political Complementarity between Health Care and Social Security," Working Papers 184, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  10. Georges Casamatta & Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 2001. "Demographic Shock and Social Security: A Political Economy Perspective," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 417-431, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Vincenzo Galasso, 1999. "The US Social Security System: What Does Political Sustainability Imply?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 698-730, July.

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