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Trade-offs in means tested pension design

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  • Tran, Chung
  • Woodland, Alan

Abstract

The means-testing of age pension programs allows governments to control the receipt of pension benefits (extensive margin) and the benefit level (intensive margin). We investigate how the presence of the extensive margin influences the trade-off between protecting the poorer elderly and the economic costs of distorting incentives to work and save of young individuals. The means-test effect via the extensive margin improves the insurance aspect but introduces opposing impacts on incentives that potentially have ambiguous welfare outcomes. We characterize combinations of the maximum pension benefit and taper rate that balance the negative incentive effects and positive insurance effects.

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  • Tran, Chung & Woodland, Alan, 2014. "Trade-offs in means tested pension design," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 72-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:47:y:2014:i:c:p:72-93
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jedc.2014.07.005
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    2. Cho, Sang-Wook (Stanley) & Sane, Renuka, 2013. "Means-Tested Age Pensions And Homeownership: Is There A Link?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(6), pages 1281-1310, September.
    3. Emily Dabbs & Cagri Kumru, 2016. "How Well Does the Australian Aged Pension Provide Social Insurance?," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 192-211, September.
    4. Owen Freestone, 2018. "The Drivers of Life‐Cycle Wage Inequality in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 94(307), pages 424-444, December.
    5. George Kudrna & Alan Woodland, 2012. "Progressive Tax Changes to Private Pensions in a Life-Cycle Framework," Working Papers 201209, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
    6. Iskhakov, Fedor & Keane, Michael, 2021. "Effects of taxes and safety net pensions on life-cycle labor supply, savings and human capital: The case of Australia," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 223(2), pages 401-432.
    7. Woodland, A., 2016. "Taxation, Pensions, and Demographic Change," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 713-780, Elsevier.
    8. Börsch-Supan, A. & Härtl, K. & Leite, D.N., 2016. "Social Security and Public Insurance," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 781-863, Elsevier.
    9. Harris, Irina & Wang, Yingli & Wang, Haiyang, 2015. "ICT in multimodal transport and technological trends: Unleashing potential for the future," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 88-103.
    10. Fedor Iskhakov & Michael Keane, 2018. "Effects of Taxes and Safety Net Pensions on life-cycle Labor Supply, Savings and Human Capital: the Case of Australia," Discussion Papers 2018-09, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    11. Kudrna, George, 2016. "Economy-wide effects of means-tested pensions: The case of Australia," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 17-29.
    12. Sagiri Kitao, 2014. "Sustainable Social Security: Four Options," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 17(4), pages 756-779, October.
    13. Kudrna,George & Alan D. Woodland, 2015. "Progressive Tax Changes to Superannuation in a Lifecycle Framework," CESifo Working Paper Series 5645, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Means-tested pension; Social security; Optimal policy; Overlapping generations; Dynamic general equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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