Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security

Contents:

Author Info

  • Casey B Mulligan

Abstract

Why are the old politically successful? We build a simple interest group model in which political pressure is time-intensive, showing that in the political competitive equilibrium each group lobbies for government policies that lower their own value of time but that the old do so to a greater extent and as a result are net gainers from the political process. What distinguishes the elderly from other political groups (and what makes them more successful) is that they have lower labor productivity and/or that we are all likely to become elderly at some point, while we are relatively unlikely to change gender, race, sexual orientation, or even occupation. The model has a variety of implications for the design of social security programs, which we test using data from the Social Security Administration. For example, the model predicts that social security programs with retirement incentives are larger and that the old are more single-minded' in their politics, implications which we verify using cross-country government finance data and cross-country political participation surveys. Finally, we show that the forced savings programs intended to reform' the social security system may increase the amount of intergenerational redistribution. As a model for evaluating policy reforms, ours has the attractive feature that reforms must be time consistent from a political point of view rather than a public interest point of view.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/research/cses/WorkingPapersPDF%27s/154.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found (http://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/research/cses/WorkingPapersPDF%27s/154.pdf [301 Moved Permanently]--> https://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/research/cses/WorkingPapersPDF%27s/154.pdf). If this is indeed the case, please notify (Thomas Krichel)
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State in its series University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State with number 154.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:chices:154

Contact details of provider:
Postal: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, CENTER FOR STUDY OF THE ECONOMY AND THE STATE, 1101 E. 58TH STREET CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60637.
Web page: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/economy/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1992. "Social security and Medicare policy from the perspective of generational accounting," Working Paper 9206, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Sebastian Edwards, 1996. "The Chilean Pension Reform: A Pioneering Program," NBER Working Papers 5811, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Axel Borsch-Supan & Reinhold Schnabel, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Germany," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 135-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  5. Pierre Pestieau & Jean-Philippe Stijns, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Belgium," NBER Working Papers 6169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hanoch, Giora & Honig, Marjorie, 1983. "Retirement, Wages, and Labor Supply of the Elderly," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(2), pages 131-51, April.
  7. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  8. Edward M. Gramlich, 1996. "Different Approaches for Dealing with Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 55-66, Summer.
  9. Marten Palme & lngemar Svensson, 1999. "Social Security, Occupational Pensions, and Retirement in Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 355-402 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Becker, Gary S., 1985. "Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-347, December.
  11. Paul M. Romer, 1996. "Preferences, Promises, and the Politics of Entitlement," NBER Chapters, in: Individual and Social Responsibility: Child Care, Education, Medical Care, and Long-Term Care in America, pages 195-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sam Peltzman, 1980. "The Growth of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 1, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  13. repec:att:wimass:9430 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Incentive Effects of Private Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 1510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Arie Kapteyn & Klaas de Vos, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in The Netherlands," NBER Working Papers 6135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Modigliani, Franco. & Sterling, Arlie., 1981. "Determinants of private saving with special reference to the role of social security : cross country tests," Working papers 1209-81., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  17. Didier Blanchet & Louis-Paul Pele, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in France," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 101-133 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Jody W. Lipford & William R. Dougan, 1995. "A Public Choice-Theoretic Test of Ricardian Equivalence," Public Finance Review, , vol. 23(4), pages 467-483, October.
  19. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
  20. Donald O. Parsons, 1982. "Demographic Effects on Public Charity to the Aged," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 144-152.
  21. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  22. 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.
  23. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (II): Efficiency Theories, Narrative Theories, and Implications for Reform," NBER Working Papers 7119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Richard Wagner, 1976. "Revenue structure, fiscal illusion, and budgetary choice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 45-61, March.
  25. Michael J. Boskin & John B. Shoven, 1987. "Concepts and Measures of Earnings Replacement During Retirement," NBER Working Papers 1360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Michael J. Boskin & John B. Shoven, 1987. "Concepts and Measures of Earnings Replacement During Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 113-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 2003. "Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 293-340, October.
  28. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X, 1996. " A Positive Theory of Social Security," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 2a77-304, June.
  29. Alan Budd & Nigel Campbell, 1998. "The Roles of the Public and Private Sectors in the U.K. Pension System," NBER Chapters, in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 99-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 115-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Smetters, Kent A & Walliser, Jan, 1998. "Social Security: Privatization and Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 137-41, May.
  32. William R. Dougan & James Snyder, 1990. "Interest-Group Politics under Majority Rule," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 62, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  33. 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.
  34. Jack Hirshleifer, 1991. "The Paradox Of Power," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 177-200, November.
  35. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-77, September.
  36. Weiss, Yoram, 1972. "On the Optimal Lifetime Pattern of Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(328), pages 1293-1315, December.
  37. Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Substitution over Time: Another Look at Life Cycle Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 6585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. Walter Misiolek & Harold Elder, 1988. "Tax structure and the size of government: An empirical analysis of the fiscal illusion and fiscal stress arguments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 233-245, June.
  39. Laitner, John, 1988. "Bequests, Gifts, and Social Security," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 275-99, April.
  40. Stokey, Nancy L., 1991. "Credible public policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 627-656, October.
  41. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (I): Facts and Political Theories," NBER Working Papers 7118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Coughlin, Peter J & Mueller, Dennis C & Murrell, Peter, 1990. "Electoral Politics, Interest Groups, and the Size of Government," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 682-705, October.
  43. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Jeffrey Sachs, 1998. "The personal security system: a framework for reforming Social Security," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 11-13.
  44. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  45. Michele Boldrin & Sergi Jimenez-Martni & Franco Peracchi, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Spain," NBER Working Papers 6136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Samuel Preston, 1984. "Children and the elderly: Divergent paths for America’s dependents," Demography, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 435-457, November.
  47. Pommerehne, Werner W & Schneider, Friedrich, 1978. "Fiscal Illusion, Political Institutions, and Local Public Spending," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 381-408.
  48. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  49. Peter Murrell, 1984. "An examination of the factors affecting the formation of interest groups in OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 151-171, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Varför gillar inte PRO jobbavdraget?
    by Jonas Vlachos in Ekonomistas on 2010-08-19 05:00:54
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fth:chices:154. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.