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Social Security and Saving: An Update

Author

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  • Sita Slavov
  • Devon Gorry
  • Aspen Gorry
  • Frank N. Caliendo

Abstract

Typical neoclassical life-cycle models predict that Social Security has a large and negative effect on private savings. We review this theoretical literature by constructing a model where individuals face uninsurable longevity risk and differ by wage earnings, while Social Security provides benefits as a life annuity with higher replacement rates for the poor. We use the model to generate numerical examples that confirm the standard result. Using several benefit and tax changes from the 1970s and 1980s as natural experiments, we investigate the empirical relationship between Social Security and private savings and find little evidence to support the predictions from the theoretical model. We explore possible reasons for the lack of strong empirical findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Sita Slavov & Devon Gorry & Aspen Gorry & Frank N. Caliendo, 2019. "Social Security and Saving: An Update," Public Finance Review, , vol. 47(2), pages 312-348, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:47:y:2019:i:2:p:312-348
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Yue Li, 2018. "Economic Analysis Of Social Security Survivors Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(4), pages 2043-2073, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Security; saving; life insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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