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Political Intergenerational Risk Sharing

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  • Marcello D’Amato
  • Vincenzo Galasso

Abstract

In a stochastic two-period OLG model, featuring an aggregate shock to the economy, ex-ante optimality requires intergenerational risk sharing. We compare the level of time-consistent intergenerational risk sharing chosen by a social planner and by office seeking politicians. In the political setting, the transfer of resources across generations — a PAYG pension system — is determined as a Markov equilibrium of a probabilistic voting game. Negative shocks represented by low realized returns on the risky asset induce politicians to compensate the old through a PAYG system. Unless the young are crucial to win the election, this political system generates more intergenerational risk sharing than the (time consistent) social optimum. In particular, these transfers are more persistent and less responsive to the realization of the shock than optimal. This is because politicians anticipate their current transfers to the elderly to be compensated through offsetting transfers by future politicians, and thus have an incentive to overspend. Perhaps surprisingly, aging increases the socially optimal transfer but makes politicians less likely to overspend, by making it more costly for future politicians to compensate the current young.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 342.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:342

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Cited by:
  1. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2008. "A Political Economy Model of Earnings Mobility and Redistribution Policy," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-18-Rev.4, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), revised Oct 2012.
  2. Hollanders, D.A., 2010. "The Political Economy of Intergenerational Risk Sharing," Discussion Paper 2010-102, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Ed Westerhout, 2011. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in Time-Consistent Funded Pension Schemes," CPB Discussion Paper 176, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Corsini, Lorenzo & Spataro, Luca, 2011. "Optimal decisions on pension plans in the presence of financial literacy costs and income inequalities," MPRA Paper 30946, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2011. "A Political Economy Theory of Government Debt and Social Security," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 11-33, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  6. Oguro, Kazumasa & Ishida, Ryo, 2012. "The Viability of a Voting System that Allocates Parliamentary Seats According to Life Expectancy: An analysis using OLG models," CIS Discussion paper series 571, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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