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Social security, retirement age and optimal income taxation

  • Cremer, Helmuth
  • Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie
  • Pestieau, Pierre

It is often argued that implicit taxation on continued activity of elderly workers is responsible for the widely observed trend towards early retirement. In a world of laissez-faire or of first-best efficiency, there would be no such implicit taxation. The point of this paper is that when first-best redistributive instruments are not available, because some variables are not observable, the optimal policy does imply a distortion of the retirement decision. Consequently, the inducement of early retirement may be part of the optimal tax-transfer policy. We consider a model in which individuals differ in their productivity and their capacity to work long and choose both their weekly labor supply and their age of retirement. We characterize the optimal non linear tax-transfer that maximizes a utilitarian welfare function when weekly earnings and the length of active life are observable while individuals’ productivity and health status are not observable.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2004)
Issue (Month): 11 (September)
Pages: 2259-2281

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:11:p:2259-2281
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. P. A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1977. "A Model of Social Insurance With Variable Retirement," Working papers 210, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Brito, D.L. & Hamilton, J.H. & Slutsky, S.H. & Stiglitz, J.E., 1989. "Dynamic Optimal Income Taxation With Government Commitment," Papers 89-8, Florida - College of Business Administration.
  3. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1986. " Payroll-Tax Financed Social Insurance with Variable Retirement," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 25-50.
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  7. Maderner, Nina & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 1995. " Is It Legitimate to Encourage Work Sharing?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 621-33, December.
  8. Arnaud Dellis & Raphaël Desmet & Alain Jousten & Sergio Perelman, 2004. "Micro-Modeling of Retirement in Belgium," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation, pages 41-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1997. "In-kind transfers, self-selection and optimal tax policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 97-114, January.
  10. BOADWAY, R. & MARCHAND, M. & PESTIEAU, P. & del MAR RACIONERO, M., 2001. "Optimal redistribution with heterogeneous preferences for leisure," CORE Discussion Papers 2001025, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Crawford, Vincent P & Lilien, David M, 1981. "Social Security and the Retirement Decision," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 505-29, August.
  12. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, June.
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