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A Note On Social Security Welfare With Self-Control Problems

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  • Bucciol, Alessandro

Abstract

We develop an overlapping-generations model for a closed economy with uncertainty on labor income and mortality risk to show that unfunded social security programs may increase welfare in economies where agents are affected by self-control problems à la Gul and Pesendorfer (2001, Econometrica 69, 1403). We depart from the existing literature by setting the agent's preference parameters to match target levels of macro-variables observed in the real U.S. economy. In our approach, economies with tempted and nontempted agents are indistinguishable in terms of aggregate consumption, labor, and saving behavior when social security provides a replacement rate of 40% (as in the United States). This situation makes agents bear costly self-control problems over more years. Our simulations indicate that social security improves welfare with degrees of temptation equal to 11% or higher. A social security program with a replacement rate of 40% finds support for degrees of temptation not lower than 15%.

Suggested Citation

  • Bucciol, Alessandro, 2011. "A Note On Social Security Welfare With Self-Control Problems," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(04), pages 579-594, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:macdyn:v:15:y:2011:i:04:p:579-594_00
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    Cited by:

    1. Kumru, Cagri S. & Tran, Chung, 2012. "Temptation and social security in a dynastic framework," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1422-1445.
    2. Frank Caliendo & T. Findley, 2013. "Limited computational ability and social security," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(3), pages 414-433, June.
    3. Tran, Chung, 2016. "Fiscal policy as a temptation control device: Savings subsidy and social security," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 254-268.
    4. Caliendo, Frank N. & Guo, Nick L., 2014. "Roosevelt And Prescott Come To An Agreement," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(06), pages 1383-1402, September.
    5. Guo, Nick L. & Caliendo, Frank N., 2014. "Time-inconsistent preferences and time-inconsistent policies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 102-108.
    6. Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz & Marcin Bielecki, 2017. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," GRAPE Working Papers 21, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    7. Laura Cavalli & Alessandro Bucciol & Paolo Pertile & Veronica Polin & Nicola Sartor & Alessandro Sommacal, 2012. "Modelling life-course decisions for the analysis of interpersonal and intrapersonal redistribution," Working Papers 25/2012, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    8. Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant & Jean-Denis Garon, 2015. "Optimal redistributive pensions and the cost of self-control," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 723-740, October.
    9. Emin Gahramanov & Xueli Tang, 2013. "Should We Refinance Unfunded Social Security?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(319), pages 532-565, July.
    10. Carlos Bethencourt & Lars Kunze, 2017. "Temptation and the efficient taxation of education and labor," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 986-1000, November.
    11. Pier-Andre Bouchard St-Amant & Jean-Denis Garon, 2013. "Optimal Redistributive Pensions with Temptation and Costly Self-Control," Working Papers 1311, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    12. Marcin Bielecki & Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Waniek, 2015. "Inequalities in an OLG economy with heterogeneity within cohorts and pension systems," Working Papers 2015-16, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    13. Airaudo, Marco, 2017. "Temptation and Forward Guidance," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2017-4, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    14. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2016. "Reforming retirement age in DB and DC pension systems in an aging OLG economy with heterogenous agents," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, December.

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