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Assessing the Applicability of Hypothetical Workers for Defined-Contribution Pensions

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  • Wade D. Pfau

    (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)

Abstract

An understanding of the financial and distributional consequences of Social Security reform requires knowledge about the actual life circumstances of participants, including the level and pattern of their lifetime earnings and when they retire. Some analyses of Social Security reform make simplifying assumptions about these characteristics by using “hypothetical workers” with set career paths. We seek to develop greater understanding about actual lifetime earnings patterns to compare with hypothetical workers and find discrepancies which lead typical hypothetical workers to produce a more favorable impression for defined-contribution pension reforms. We suggest modifications to make a more suitable hypothetical worker.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in its series GRIPS Discussion Papers with number 07-11.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ngi:dpaper:07-11

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Related research

Keywords: Social Security; Hypothetical Workers; Defined-Contribution Pensions;

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  1. Steven Caldwell & Melissa Favreault & Alla Gantman & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Thomas Johnson, 1998. "Social Security's Treatment of Postwar Americans," NBER Working Papers 6603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward Whitehouse, 2007. "Pensions Panorama : Retirement-Income Systems in 53 Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7177, August.
  3. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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