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Social security and retirement decision: a positive and normative approach

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Author Info

  • CREMER, Helmuth
  • LOZACHMEUR, Jean-Marie
  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

Abstract

Social insurance for the elderly is judged responsible for the widely observed trend towards early retirement. In a world of laissez-faire or in a first-best setting, there would be no such trend. However, when first-best instruments are not available, because health and productivity are not observable, the optimal social insurance policy may imply a distortion on the retirement decision. The main point we make is that while there is no doubt that retirement systems induce an excessive bias towards early in many countries, a complete elimination of this bias (i.e., a switch to an actuarially fair system) is not the right answer. This is so and for two reasons. First, some distortions are second-best optimal. This is the normative argument. Second, and on the positive side, the elimination of the bias might be problematic from a political perspective. Depending on the political process, it may either not be feasible or alternatively it may tend to undermine the political support for the pension system itself.

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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 2006019.

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Date of creation: 00 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2006019

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Keywords: social security; early retirement; optimal income taxation; ma jority voting. 2006/20 Political information acquisition for social exchange;

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References

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  1. CASAMATTA, Georges & CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Voting on pensions with endogenous retirement age," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1754, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Disability Testing and Retirement," CEPR Discussion Papers 4773, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Pierre Pestieau, 2001. "Are We Retiring too Early?," CESifo Working Paper Series 522, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  6. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "The double dividend of postponing retirement," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1696, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, . "Early retirement," Working Papers 2003-03, FEDEA.
  8. Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Retirement Age and Health Expenditures," IDEI Working Papers 306, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  9. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, May.
  10. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2004. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," NBER Working Papers 10792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. CASAMATTA, Georges & CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Is there a political support for the double burden on prolonged activity?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1865, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, . "The Macroeconomic of Early Retirement," Working Papers 194, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  13. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  14. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Social security, retirement age and optimal income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2259-2281, September.
  16. Robert Fenge & Pierre Pestieau, 2005. "Social Security and Early Retirement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062496, December.
  17. Sheshinski, Eytan, 1972. "The Optimal Linear Income-Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 297-302, July.
  18. Helmuth Cremer & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur & Pierre Pestieau, 2004. "Optimal Retirement and Disability Benefits with Audit," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 278-, September.
  19. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2003. "Early Retirement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, January.
  20. Sheshinski, E. & Diamond, P., 1992. "Economic Aspects of Optimal Disability Benefits," Working papers 92-5, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  21. 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.
  22. Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan & David A. Wise, 2009. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: The Relationship to Youth Employment, Introduction and Summary," NBER Working Papers 14647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Jonathan Gruber & David Wise, 2005. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications, Introduction and Summary," NBER Working Papers 11290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. J. A. Mirrlees & P. Diamond, 1982. "Social Insurance with Variable Retirement and Private Saving," Working papers 296, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Amedeo Spadaro & Lucia Mangiavacchi & Luca Piccoli, 2012. "Optimal taxation, social contract, and the four worlds of welfare capitalism," DEA Working Papers 51, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
  2. Rob Euwals & Daniel van Vuuren & Annemiek van Vuren, 2011. "The impact of reforms on labour market exit probabilities," CPB Discussion Paper 179, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn E. Finlay, 2008. "Demographic Change, Institutional Settings, and Labor Supply," PGDA Working Papers 4208, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  4. Torben Andersen, 2006. "Increasing Longevity and Social Security Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1789, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Enrique Fatás & Juan A. Lacomba & Francisco M. Lagos & Ana I. Moro, 2008. "Experimental tests on consumption, savings and pensions," ThE Papers 08/14, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  6. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Gunther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "The Effect of Social Security Reform on Male Retirement in High and Middle Income Countries," PGDA Working Papers 4809, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.

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