Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?
AbstractJanuary 14, 1999 Are market and voting institutions capable of producing optimal intergenerational risk-sharing? To study this question we consider a simple endowment economy with uncertainty and overlapping generations. Endowments are stochastic; thus it is possible to increase the welfare of every generation using intergenerational transfers that might depend on the state of the world. We characterize the transfers that are necessary to restore efficiency and compare them to the transfers that take place in markets and voting institutions. Unlike most of the literature, we study both ex-ante and interim risk-sharing. Our main conclusion is that both types of institutions have serious problems. Markets cannot generate ex-ante risk-sharing because agents can trade only after they are born. Furthermore, markets generate interim efficient insurance in some, but not all economies because they cannot generate forward (old to young) intergenerational transfers. This market failure, in theory, could be corrected by government intervention. However, as long as government policy is determined by voting, intergenerational transfers might be driven more by redistributive politics than by risk-sharing considerations. Successful government intervention can arise, even though agents can only vote after they are born, but only if the young determine policy in every election.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 99003.
Date of creation: 14 Jan 1999
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Ralph Landau Economics Building, Stanford, CA 94305-6072
Web page: http://www-econ.stanford.edu/econ/workp/
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Antonio Rangel & Richard Zeckhauser, 2001. "Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 113-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Antonio Rangel & Richard Zeckhauser, 1999. "Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?," NBER Working Papers 6949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Enders, Walter & Lapan, Harvey E., 1982.
"Social Security Taxation and Inter-Generational Risk Sharing,"
Staff General Research Papers
10822, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Enders, Walter & Lapan, Harvey E, 1982. "Social Security Taxation and Intergenerational Risk Sharing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(3), pages 647-58, October.
- James M. Poterba, 1996.
"Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education,"
NBER Working Papers
5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
- Peled, Dan, 1984. "Stationary pareto optimality of stochastic asset equilibria with overlapping generations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 396-403, December.
- Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
- Roger H. Gordon & Hal R. Varian, 1985.
"Intergenerational Risk Sharing,"
NBER Working Papers
1730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Smith, Alasdair, 1982. "Intergenerational transfers as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 97-106, October.
- Baxter, Marianne, 1989. "Money and market incompleteness in overlapping generations models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 69-91, July.
- Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
- Peled, Dan, 1982. "Informational diversity over time and the optimality of monetary equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 255-274, December.
- Manuelli, Rodolfo, 1990. "Existence and optimality of currency equilibrium in stochastic overlapping generations models: The pure endowment case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 268-294, August.
- Jerry R. Green, 1977. "Mitigating Demographic Risk Through Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 0215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.