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The Farm, the City, and the Emergence of Social Security

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  • Thomas F. Cooley
  • Elizabeth M. Caucutt
  • Nezih Guner

Abstract

During the period from 1880 to 1950 publicly managed retirement security programs became an important part of the social fabric in most advanced economies. In this paper we study the social, demographic and economic origins of social security. We describe a model economy in which demographics, technology, and social security are linked together. We study an economy with two locations (sectors), the farm (agricultural) and the city (industrial). The decision to migrate from rural to urban locations is endogenous and linked to productivity differences between the two locations and survival probabilities. Furthermore, the level of social security is determined by majority voting. We show that a calibrated version of this economy is consistent with the historical transformation in the United States. Initially a majority of voters live on the farm and do not want to implement social security. Once a majority of the voters move to the city, the median voter prefers a positive social security tax, and social security emerges.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 06-21.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ste:nystbu:06-21

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Postal: New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics, 44 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10012-1126
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Web page: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/economics/
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Cited by:
  1. Balestrino, Alessandro & Ciardi, Cinzia & Mammini, Claudio, 2013. "On the causes and consequences of divorce," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-9.
  2. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2012. "When the State Mirrors the Family: The Design of Pension Systems," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2012-04-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.
  3. Perotti, Enrico C & Schwienbacher, Armin, 2007. "The Political Origin of Pension Funding," CEPR Discussion Papers 6100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2013. "From Family Culture to Welfare State Design," CHILD Working Papers Series 14, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
  5. Jialu Liu, 2011. "Human capital, migration and rural entrepreneurship in China," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 4(2), pages 100-122, September.
  6. Rizzo, Giuseppe, 2009. "Fertility and pension systems," MPRA Paper 12998, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. repec:dgr:uvatin:2007004 is not listed on IDEAS

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