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Social Security Investment in Equities I: Linear Case

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  • Peter Diamond
  • John Geanakoplos

Abstract

Social Security trust fund portfolio diversification to include some equities reduces the equity premium by raising the safe real interest rate. This requires changes in taxes. Under the hypothesis of constant marginal returns to risky investments, trust fund diversification lowers the price of land, increases aggregate investment, and raises the sum of household utilities, suitably weighted. It makes workers who do not own equities on their own better off, though it may hurt some others since changed taxes and asset values redistribute wealth across contemporaneous households and across generations. In our companion paper we reconsider the effects of diversification when there are decreasing marginal returns to safe and risky investment. Our analysis uses a two-period overlapping generations general equilibrium model with two types of agents, savers and workers who do not save. The latter represent approximately half of all workers who hold no equities whatsoever.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 99-10.

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Date of creation: Apr 1999
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Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:99-10

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Web page: http://econ-www.mit.edu/
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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
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References

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  1. Olivia S. Mitchell & James F. Moore, 1997. "Retirement Wealth Accumulation and Decumulation: New Developments and Outstanding Opportunities," NBER Working Papers 6178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
  3. John Geanakoplos & Olivia S. Mitchell & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Social Security Money's Worth," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Peter A. Diamond, 1997. "Macroeconomics Aspects of Social Security Reform," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(2), pages 1-88.
  5. Henning Bohn, 1997. "Social Security reform and financial markets," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 41(Jun), pages 193-227.
  6. Arthur B. Kennickell & Martha Starr-McCluer & Annika E. Sunden, 1997. "Family finances in the U.S.: recent evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-24.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Simon Grant & John Quiggin, 2002. "The Risk Premium for Equity: Implications for the Proposed Diversification of the Social Security Fund," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1104-1115, September.
  2. Lyon, Andrew B. & Stell, John L., 2000. "Analysis of Current Social Security Reform Proposals," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 3), pages 473-514, September.
  3. Menezes, Carmen F. & Henry Wang, X. & Bigelow, John P., 2005. "Duality and consumption decisions under income and price risk," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 387-405, April.
  4. Andrew B. Abel, . "The Effects of Investing Social Security Funds in the Stock Market When Fixed Costs Prevent Some Households from Holding Stocks," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 09-00, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  5. Eisen, Roland, 2000. "(Partial) privatization social security: The Chilean model - a lesson to follow?," CFS Working Paper Series 2000/13, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2003. "Privatizing Social Security Under Balanced-Budget Constraints: A Political-Economy Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1039, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Saku Aura & Peter Diamond & John Geanakoplos, 2002. "Savings and Portfolio Choice in a Two-Period Two-Asset Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1185-1191, September.
  8. Deborah Lucas & Marvin Phaup, 1975. "The Cost of Risk to the Government and Its Implications for Federal Budgeting," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Managing Federal Financial Risk, pages 29-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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