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Is the Social Security Crisis Really as Bad as We Think?

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  • Bagchi, Shantanu

Abstract

Because they ignore the household-level and macroeconomic adjustments associated with longevity improvements, the actuarial projections of the Social Security Administration overestimate the Social Security crisis. Using a general-equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents and incomplete markets, I show that accounting for these adjustments, a significantly smaller decline in benefits is needed to balance the Social Security budget. Households respond to the longevity improvements by delaying retirement and Social Security benefit collection, working more hours, and by also saving more. In general equilibrium, these effects lead to a natural expansion of Social Security's tax base and generate significant delayed retirement credits, which the actuarial estimates completely overlook.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 56294.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision: May 2014
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56294

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Keywords: Social Security; longevity improvement; general equilibrium; delayed retirement; delayed retirement credit;

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