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Social Security and Demographic Trends: Theory and Evidence from the International Experience

  • Isaac Ehrlich

    (SUNY Buffalo)

  • Jinyoung Kim

    (SUNY Buffalo)

The worldwide problem with pay-as-you-go, defined-benefits social security systems isn't just financial. Through a dynamic, overlapping-generations model where forming a family and bearing and educating children are choice variables, we show that social security taxes and benefits generate incentives to reduce both family formation and fertility, and that these effects cannot be fully neutralized by counteracting inter-temporal or intergenerational transfers within families. We implement the model using calibrated simulations as well as panel data from 57 countries over 32 years. We find that PAYG tax measures account for a non-trivial part of the downward trends in family formation and fertility worldwide, especially in OECD countries. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2006.09.002
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 55-77

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:05-22
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  1. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1986. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," NBER Working Papers 1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Juan A. Rojas, 2003. "On The Interaction Between Education And Social Security," Economics Working Papers we033511, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
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  4. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, retirement, and social security," Economics Working Papers 383, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  5. Isaac Ehrlich & Jinyoung Kim, 2005. "Social Security, Demographic Trends, and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence from the International Experience," NBER Working Papers 11121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Baker & Emily Hanna & Jasmin Kantarevic, 2003. "The Married Widow: Marriage Penalties Matter!," NBER Working Papers 9782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Ehrlich, Isaac & Zhong, Jian-Guo, 1998. "Social Security and the Real Economy: An Inquiry into Some Neglected Issues," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 151-57, May.
  9. Boadway, R.W. & Wildasin, D.E., 1987. "A median voter model of social security," CORE Discussion Papers 1987014, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  11. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
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