The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits
AbstractThe optimal level of Social Security benefits depends on balancing the protection that these benefits offer to those who have not provided adequately for their own old age against the welfare costs of distorting economic behavior. The primary such cost is the distortion in private saving. The present paper derives the level of Social Security benefits that is optimal in three basic cases. In the first section of the paper, the optimal level of benefits is derived for an economy in which all individuals do not anticipate retirement at all and therefore do not save. The second and third sections then derive the optimal benefits for economies with two different definitions of attitudes toward retirement and saving.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0970.
Date of creation: Aug 1982
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Feldstein, Martin. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits." Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 100, No. 2, (May 1985), pp. 303-320.
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NBER Working Papers
8451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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