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On the role of labor supply for the optimal size of Social Security


  • Hillebrand, Marten


The paper studies the welfare effects of a Social Security system in a stylized overlapping generations economy with random production and capital accumulation. Different welfare concepts including long run optimality, social optimality, and time consistency are employed to determine the optimal size of the system. When labor supply is exogenous, a unique contribution level can be identified which is optimal according to all three concepts. When labor supply is endogenous, however, this result generically fails to hold and the long-run optimal solution is only constrained socially optimal while the time-consistent policy may even lead to an inefficient equilibrium.

Suggested Citation

  • Hillebrand, Marten, 2011. "On the role of labor supply for the optimal size of Social Security," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1091-1105, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:7:p:1091-1105

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Gabrielle Demange & Guy Laroque, 1999. "Social Security and Demographic Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 527-542, May.
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    6. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 640-647.
    7. Demange, Gabrielle & Laroque, Guy, 2000. " Social Security, Optimality, and Equilibria in a Stochastic Overlapping Generations Economy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23.
    8. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
    9. Wang Yong, 1993. "Stationary Equilibria in an Overlapping Generations Economy with Stochastic Production," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 423-435, December.
    10. Chattopadhyay, Subir & Gottardi, Piero, 1999. "Stochastic OLG Models, Market Structure, and Optimality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 21-67, November.
    11. Breyer, Friedrich & Straub, Martin, 1993. "Welfare effects of unfunded pension systems when labor supply is endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 77-91, January.
    12. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-926, Sept./Oct.
    13. Sakai, Yoshikiyo, 1988. "Conditional Pareto optimality of stationary equilibrium in a stochastic overlapping generations model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 209-213, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hillebrand, Marten, 2012. "On the optimal size of Social Security in the presence of a stock market," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 26-38.
    2. Martin Barbie & Marten Hillebrand, 2017. "Bubbly Markov Equilibria," Working Papers 1703, Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.


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