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The extension of social security coverage in developing countries

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  • Jung, Juergen
  • Tran, Chung

Abstract

We study the dynamic general equilibrium effects of introducing a social pension program to elderly informal sector workers in developing countries who lack formal risk sharing mechanisms against income and longevity risks. To this end, we formulate a stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model that incorporates defining features of developing countries: a large informal sector, private transfers as an informal safety net, and a non-universal social security system. We find that the extension of retirement benefits to informal sector workers results in efficiency losses due to adverse effects on capital accumulation and the allocation of resources across formal and informal sectors. Despite these losses recipients of social pensions experience welfare gains as the positive insurance effects attributed to the extension of a social insurance system dominate. The welfare gains crucially depend on the skill distribution, private intra-family transfers and the specific tax used to finance the expansion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung, 2012. "The extension of social security coverage in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 439-458.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:2:p:439-458
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2012.05.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Chung Tran, 2008. "Transfers and Labor Market Behavior of the Elderly in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence from Vietnam," Caepr Working Papers 2008-018, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    2. Cheng, Lingguo & Liu, Hong & Zhang, Ye & Zhao, Zhong, 2016. "The Health Implications of Social Pensions: Evidence from China's New Rural Pension Scheme," IZA Discussion Papers 9621, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0655-y is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rudolph, Alexandra & Priebe, Jan, 2015. "Pension programs around the world: determinants of social pension," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112986, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Lingguo Cheng & Hong Liu & Ye Zhang & Zhong Zhao, 2018. "The heterogeneous impact of pension income on elderly living arrangements: evidence from China’s new rural pension scheme," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 155-192, January.
    6. Shiferaw, Admasu & Bedi, Arjun S. & Söderbom, Mans & Alemu, Getnet, 2017. "Social Insurance Reform and Labor Market Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 10903, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Neugart, Michael & Kemmerling, Achim, 2015. "The emergence of redistributive pensions in the developing world," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112884, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. repec:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:1:p:53-77 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Santiago Levy & Norbert Schady, 2013. "Latin America's Social Policy Challenge: Education, Social Insurance, Redistribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 193-218, Spring.
    10. Alexandra Rudolph, 2016. "Pension programs around the world: Determinants of social pension," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 212, Courant Research Centre PEG.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informal sector; Family social safety nets; Social pension; General equilibrium; Welfare;

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E26 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Informal Economy; Underground Economy
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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