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Labor Supply Elasticity and Social Security Reform

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  • Selahattin Imrohoroglu
  • Sagiri Kitao

Abstract

Previous literature on social security reform has used a variety of period utility functions and calibrated values for the intertemporal elasticity of substitution (IES) in labor. In this paper, we extensively study various preferences and values for IES in a general equilibrium model with overlapping generations. We calibrate the model to key U.S. macroeconomic indicators and document how social security reform impacts the economy under different preferences. We find that aggregate effects are surprisingly similar, regardless of the wide range of the values of IES used. However, reform leads to a life-cycle reallocation of work hours from early years to later working years and the size of this reallocation significantly increases with the IES.

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File URL: http://crr.bc.edu/working-papers/labor-supply-elasticity-and-social-security-reform/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Retirement Research in its series Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College with number wp2009-5.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision: Mar 2009
Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2009-5

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  1. Luisa Fuster & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu, 2007. "Elimination of Social Security in a Dynastic Framework," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 113-145.
  2. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
  3. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
  4. Hubbard, R Glenn & Judd, Kenneth L, 1987. "Social Security and Individual Welfare: Precautionary Saving, Borrowing Constraints, and the Payroll Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 630-46, September.
  5. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?," NBER Working Papers 11622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Orazio Attanasio & Susanne Rohwedder, 2001. "Pension wealth and household saving: evidence from pension reforms in the UK," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W01/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Douglas H. Joines, 2000. "Time inconsistent preferences and Social Security," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 136, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans Work so Much More than Europeans?," NBER Working Papers 10316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999. "Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
  10. Martin Feldstein, 1982. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," NBER Working Papers 0970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard Blundell & Thomas MaCurdy, 1998. "Labour supply: a review of alternative approaches," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W98/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Cyclical and Secular Behavior of the Labor Input : Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Papers, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics 36, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  13. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  14. Martin Browning & Lars Peter Hansen & James J. Heckman, 1999. "Micro Data and General Equilibrium Models," Discussion Papers 99-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
  17. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  18. Raj Chetty, 2006. "A New Method of Estimating Risk Aversion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1821-1834, December.
  19. HUANG, HE & IMROHOROG[caron]LU, SELAHATTIN & SARGENT, THOMAS J., 1997. "Two Computations To Fund Social Security," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 7-44, January.
  20. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  21. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
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