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Optimal response to a transitory demographic shock in Social Security financing

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  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Carlos Garriga

Abstract

We examine the optimal policy response to a transitory demographic shock that affects negatively the financing of retirement pensions. In contrast to existing literature, we endogenously determine optimal policies rather than exploring implications of exogenous parametric policies. Our approach identifies optimal strategies of the social security administration to guarantee the financial sustainability of existing retirement pensions in a Pareto improving way. Hence, no cohort will pay the cost of the demographic shock. We find 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2007-041.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in Pension Strategies in Europe and the United States, April 2008, pp. 87-116, MIT Press.
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-041

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Keywords: Social security ; Pensions;

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  1. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Michele Boldrin & Ana Montes, 2005. "The Intergenerational State Education and Pensions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 651-664.
  5. Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Cyclical and Secular Behavior of the Labor Input : Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Papers 36, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  6. Juan C. Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2008. "Optimal Fiscal Policy In The Design Of Social Security Reforms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 291-318, 02.
  7. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
  8. Carlos Garriga, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Working Papers in Economics 66, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  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. 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.
  11. Andrés Erosa & Martin Gervais, 1998. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9812, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  12. Karsten Jeske, 2003. "Pension systems and aggregate shocks," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 15-31.
  13. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Craig P. Aubuchon & Juan Carlos Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2011. "A primer on social security systems and reforms," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 19-35.

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