IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/red/issued/v2y1999i3p698-730.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The US Social Security System: What Does Political Sustainability Imply?

Author

Listed:
  • Vincenzo Galasso

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

This paper examines how political constraints can shape the social security system under different demographics. A steady state mapping between relevant economic and demographic variables and the social security tax rate resulting from a majority voting is provided. I calibrate an OLG model to the US economy. Calculations using Census population and survival probabilities projections, and 1961-96 labor productivity growth deliver a social security tax rate of 13.3% (currently 11.2%), and a 54% replacement ratio (51.7%). This result reflects the median voter's aging, from 44 to 46 years, which dominates the decrease in the dependency ratio, from 5.45 to 4.72. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Galasso, 1999. "The US Social Security System: What Does Political Sustainability Imply?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 698-730, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:2:y:1999:i:3:p:698-730
    DOI: 10.1006/redy.1998.0049
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/redy.1998.0049
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and ScienceDirect institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1006/redy.1998.0049?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational Accounts: A Meaningful Alternative to Deficit Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5, pages 55-110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
    3. Esteban Joan Maria & Sakovics Jozsef, 1993. "Intertemporal Transfer Institutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 189-205, December.
    4. Guido Tabellini, 2000. "A Positive Theory of Social Security," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 523-545, September.
    5. Galasso, Vincenzo, 2000. "The US Social Security: A Financial Appraisal For The Median Voter," CEPR Discussion Papers 2456, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. BOLDRIN, Michele & RUSTICHINI, Aldo, 1994. "Equilibria with Social Security," LIDAM Discussion Papers CORE 1994060, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Marcello D’Amato & Vincenzo Galasso, 2002. "Assessing the Political Sustainability of Parametric Social Security Reforms: the Case of Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 61(2), pages 171-213, December.
    2. Elizabeth Caucutt & Thomas Cooley & Nezih Guner, 2013. "The farm, the city, and the emergence of social security," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-32, March.
    3. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Uebelmesser, Silke, 2003. "Pensions and the path to gerontocracy in Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 153-158, March.
    4. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2003. "Early Retirement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, January.
    5. Conde-Ruiz, Jose Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2005. "Positive arithmetic of the welfare state," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 933-955, June.
    6. Hans Fehr, 2009. "Computable Stochastic Equilibrium Models and Their Use in Pension- and Ageing Research," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(4), pages 359-416, December.
    7. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Paola Profeta, 2007. "The Redistributive Design of Social Security Systems," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 686-712, April.
    8. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2004. "Lessons for an ageing society: the political sustainability of social security systems [‘Assessing dynamic efficiency: theory and evidence’]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 64-115.
    9. Gonzalez-Eiras, Marti­n & Niepelt, Dirk, 2008. "The future of social security," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 197-218, March.
    10. Silke Uebelmesser & Hans-Werner Sinn, 2001. "When will the Germans Get Trapped in their Pension System?," CESifo Working Paper Series 561, CESifo.
    11. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
    12. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2002. "Aggregate Risk, Political Constraints and Social Security Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3330, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Conde-Ruiz, J. Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2004. "The macroeconomics of early retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1849-1869, August.
    14. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2008. "A quantitative theory of social security without commitment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 652-671, April.
    15. Azariadis, Costas & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2002. "Fiscal Constitutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 255-281, April.
    16. Lorenzo Forni, 2005. "Social Security as Markov Equilibrium in OLG Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 178-194, January.
    17. Galasso, Vincenzo & Profeta, Paola, 2002. "The political economy of social security: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, March.
    18. Georg Hirte, 2003. "The Political Feasibility of Privatizing Old‐Age Insurance," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(4), pages 507-525, September.
    19. Marcello D'Amato & Vincenzo Galasso, 2002. "E' la Riforma Dini Politicamente Sostenibile?," CELPE Discussion Papers 64, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    20. Uebelmesser Silke, 2004. "Political Feasibility of Pension Reforms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, September.
    21. Hans-Werner Sinn & Silke Übelmesser, 2000. "Wann kippt Deutschland um?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 53(28-29), pages 20-25, November.
    22. Attanasio, O. & Bonfatti, A. & Kitao, S. & Weber, G., 2016. "Global Demographic Trends," 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 179-235, Elsevier.
    23. Silke Uebelmesser & Hans-Werner Sinn, 2001. "When will the Germans Get Trapped in their Pension System?," CESifo Working Paper Series 561, CESifo.
    24. Paola Profeta, 2002. "Aging and Retirement: Evidence Across Countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(6), pages 651-672, November.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Carlos Bethencourt & Vincenzo Galasso, "undated". "On the Political Complementarity between Health Care and Social Security," Working Papers 184, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    2. Mahieu, Géraldine & Rottier, Stéphane, 1998. "Pensions and Voting Equilibria in an Overlapping Generation Model with Heterogeneous Agents," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 1999031, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), revised 00 Nov 1999.
    3. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
    4. Giorgio Bellettini & Carlotta Berti Ceroni, 1999. "Is Social Security Really Bad for Growth?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 796-819, October.
    5. Conde-Ruiz, J. Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2004. "The macroeconomics of early retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1849-1869, August.
    6. Marcello D’Amato & Vincenzo Galasso, 2002. "Assessing the Political Sustainability of Parametric Social Security Reforms: the Case of Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 61(2), pages 171-213, December.
    7. Costas Azariadis & Vincenzo Galasso, 1998. "Constitutional “Rules” and Intergenerational Fiscal Policy," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 67-74, March.
    8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Political economics and public finance," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 24, pages 1549-1659, Elsevier.
    9. Marco Bassetto, 2009. "The Research Agenda: Marco Bassetto on the Quantitative Evaluation of Fiscal Policy Rules," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(2), April.
    10. Dirk Niepelt & Martin Gonzalez-Eiras, 2008. "Economic and Politico-Economic Equivalence of Fiscal Policies," 2008 Meeting Papers 631, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Elizabeth Caucutt & Thomas Cooley & Nezih Guner, 2013. "The farm, the city, and the emergence of social security," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-32, March.
    12. Robert Grafstein, 2009. "Antisocial Security: The Puzzle of Beggar‐Thy‐Children Policies," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(3), pages 710-725, July.
    13. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Benjarong Suwankiri, 2009. "Migration and the welfare state: Dynamic Political-Economy Theory," NBER Working Papers 14784, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Gabrielle Demange, 2009. "On Sustainable Pay‐as‐You‐Go Contribution Rules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(4), pages 493-527, August.
    15. M.L. Leroux & P. Pestieau, 2014. "Social Security and Family Support," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(1), pages 115-143, February.
    16. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martín, 2003. "Social security, retirement, and the single-mindedness of the electorate," Economics Working Papers 686, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    17. Gonzales-Eiras, Martín & Niepelt, Dirk, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Seminar Papers 731, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    18. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2002. "Aggregate Risk, Political Constraints and Social Security Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3330, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2008. "A quantitative theory of social security without commitment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 652-671, April.
    20. Azariadis, Costas & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2002. "Fiscal Constitutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 255-281, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unfunded social security system; political equilibria; labor productivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:2:y:1999:i:3:p:698-730. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christian Zimmermann (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.