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The Welfare Gains of Improving Risk Sharing in Social Security

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  • Olovsson, Conny

    ()
    (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

This paper shows that improved intergenerational risk sharing in social security may imply very large welfare gains, amounting to up to 15 percent of the per-period consumption relative to the current U.S. consumption. Improved risk sharing raises welfare through a direct effect, i.e., by correcting an initially inefficient allocation of risk, and through a general equilibrium (GE) effect. The GE effect is due to the fact that the allocation of risk in the pay-as-you-go system influences the demand for capital. As a result, with an efficient risk sharing arrangement, the crowding out effect associated with an unfunded system can actually be completely eliminated. Efficient risk sharing in social security implies highly volatile and pro-cyclical benefits, i.e., that retirees' exposure to productivity risk is increased. Consequently, a policy involving completely safe benefits will unambiguously be welfare reducing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies in its series Seminar Papers with number 728.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 10 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0728

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Postal: Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46-8-162000
Fax: +46-8-161443
Web page: http://www.iies.su.se/
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Keywords: Social security; Risk sharing;

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References

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  1. Krüger, Dirk & Kubler, Felix, 2005. "Pareto Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets Are Incomplete," CEPR Discussion Papers 5039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Philippe Weil, 1989. "The Equity Premium Puzzle and the Riskfree Rate Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 2829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Martin Gonzalez Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Working Papers 72, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.
  4. Shiller, Robert J., 1999. "Social security and institutions for intergenerational, intragenerational, and international risk-sharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 165-204, June.
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  7. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2001. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1921, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Andrew B. Abel, 2002. "The effects of a baby boom on stock prices and capital accumulation in the presence of Social Security," Working Papers 03-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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  10. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 1999. "The risk-sharing implications of alternative social security arrangements," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 213-259, June.
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  18. 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.
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  24. Kent A. Smetters, 2004. "Trading with the Unborn: A New Perspective on Capital Income Taxation," Working Papers wp066, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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Cited by:
  1. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2008. "Political Intergenerational Risk Sharing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6972, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Felix Kubler & Department of Economics & Department of Economics & Piero Gottardi, 2007. "Social Security and RIsk Sharing," 2007 Meeting Papers 625, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Bovenberg, A.L. & Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S., 2006. "Pension Systems and the Allocation of Macroeconomic Risk," Discussion Paper 2006-101, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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