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Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents

  • Juan C. Conesa

    (Universidad de Barcelona and University of Minnesota)

  • Dirk Krueger

    (University of Minneapolis and Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

This paper analyzes the quantitative role of idiosyncratic uncertainty in an economy in which rational agents vote on hypothetical social security reforms. We find that the role of a pay-as-you-go social security system as a partial insurance and redistribution device significantly reduces political support for a transition to an economy with a fully funded system. We conclude that the status quo bias in favor of an unfunded social security system is stronger in economies in which agents of similar age differ significantly with respect to labor earnings and wealth due to idiosyncratic income uncertainty. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 2 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 757-795

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:2:y:1999:i:4:p:757-795
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  1. Harold L. Cole & Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1999. "Efficient allocations with hidden income and hidden storage," Staff Report 238, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Krusell, P & Smith Jr, A-A, 1995. "Income and Wealth Heterogeneity in the Macroeconomic," RCER Working Papers 399, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. HUANG, HE & IMROHOROG[caron]LU, SELAHATTIN & SARGENT, THOMAS J., 1997. "Two Computations To Fund Social Security," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 7-44, January.
  4. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-84, August.
  5. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  6. Heathcote, Jonathan, 1999. "Fiscal Policy with Heterogeneous Agents and Incomplete Markets," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 319, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Jul 1999.
  7. Jonathan Gruber & David Wise, 1997. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Introduction and Summary of Papers by..," NBER Working Papers 6134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
  9. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
  10. Butler, Monika, 1999. "Anticipation effects of looming public-pension reforms," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 119-159, June.
  11. 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.
  12. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-55, December.
  13. repec:cup:macdyn:v:1:y:1997:i:1:p:7-44 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Bohn, Henning, 1999. "Will social security and Medicare remain viable as the U.S. population is aging?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 1-53, June.
  15. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
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