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Social Security's treatment of postwar Americans: how bad can it get?

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  • Jagadeesh Gokhale
  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Abstract

The authors consider Social Security’s treatment of postwar Americans under alternative tax increases and benefit cuts that would help bring the system’s finances into present-value balance. The alternatives include immediate tax increases, eliminating the ceiling on taxable payroll, immediate and sustained benefit cuts, raising the system’s normal retirement age, switching from wage to price indexing in calculating benefits, and limiting the price indexing of benefits. The choices made among these and other alternatives have important consequences for which postwar generations (and which of their members) will be forced to pay for the system’s long-term financing problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 9912.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:9912

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Keywords: Social security;

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  1. Michael D. Hurd & John B. Shoven, 1983. "The Distributional Impact of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 1155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anthony Pellechio & Gordon Goodfellow, 1983. "Individual Gains and Losses from Social Security before and after the 1983 Amendments," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 3(2), pages 417-442, Fall.
  3. Michael J. Boskin & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Douglas J. Puffert & John B. Shoven, 1987. "Social Security: A Financial Appraisal Across and Within Generations," NBER Working Papers 1891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steven Caldwell & Melissa Favreault & Alla Gantman & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Thomas Johnson & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1999. "Social Security's Treatment of Postwar Americans," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, volume 13, pages 109-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lee, Ronald & Tuljapurkar, Shripad, 1998. "Uncertain Demographic Futures and Social Security Finances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 237-41, May.
  6. Julia Lynn Coronado & Don Fullerton & Thomas Glass, 1999. "Distributional Impacts of Proposed Changes to the Social Security System," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, volume 13, pages 149-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 6097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ronald Lee & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 1997. "Death and Taxes: Longer life, consumption, and social security," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 67-81, February.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?
    by Alex Tabarrok in Marginal Revolution on 2011-09-10 16:47:19
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Cited by:
  1. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Alexi Sluchynsky, 2002. "Does it pay to work?," Working Paper 0206, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Tosun, Mehmet Serkan, 2008. "Endogenous fiscal policy and capital market transmissions in the presence of demographic shocks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 2031-2060, June.
  3. Stanislav Klazar & Barbora Slintáková, 2012. "How Progressive is the Czech Pension Security?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(3), pages 309-327.

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