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Myopia and pensions in general equilibrium

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  • Frank Caliendo

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  • Emin Gahramanov

Abstract

The US social security tax rate has doubled in the last half century. Does the degree of myopic behavior that we observe in the US justify the size of the social security program? To study this question we build a computable general equilibrium model that is composed of life-cycle permanent-income consumers who save optimally and “hand-to-mouth” consumers who just consume their disposable income. Our model is a continuous-time, general equilibrium extension of the model by Cremer et al. (Int Tax Public Financ 15(5):547–562, 2008 ), though we abstract from the redistributive function of social security to focus on myopia. Retirement is a choice variable in our model and the social security program is designed to mimic the US program in which the annuity value of benefits increases with the retirement age. Also, we allow for delayed claiming beyond the date of retirement. The model matches a variety of important data targets relating to saving and retirement. We find that small reductions in the social security tax rate provide significant welfare gains to both groups of consumers. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Caliendo & Emin Gahramanov, 2013. "Myopia and pensions in general equilibrium," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 37(3), pages 375-401, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:37:y:2013:i:3:p:375-401
    DOI: 10.1007/s12197-011-9187-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Maldonado, Dario & Pestieau, Pierre, 2007. "Voting over type and generosity of a pension system when some individuals are myopic," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 2041-2061, November.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2003. "The Double Dividend of Postponing Retirement," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(4), pages 419-434, August.
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    4. Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder & Dario Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2009. "Forced Saving, Redistribution, and Nonlinear Social Security Schemes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 86-98, July.
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    12. Caliendo, Frank N. & Gahramanov, Emin, 2008. "Hunting the unobservables for optimal social security: a general equilibrium approach," Economics Series eco_2008_10, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
    13. Gruber, Jonathan & Wise, David, 1998. "Social Security and Retirement: An International Comparison," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 158-163, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karen A. Tumanyants & Eugenia V. Gulyaeva, 2016. "Individual Choice of a Pension Fund in Russia: Are the Investment Results of the Fund Important?," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(4), pages 1328-1337.
    2. Emin Gahramanov & Xueli Tang, 2016. "Impatient in Experiments, but Patient in Simulations: A Challenge to the Heckman-Type Model," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(297), pages 268-290, June.
    3. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2013. "Unfunded Pensions And Endogenous Labor Supply," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(05), pages 971-997, July.
    4. Cheng, Chu-Chuan & Chu, Hsun, 2017. "Optimal Policies for Sin Goods and Health Care: Tax or Subsidy?," MPRA Paper 80183, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Myopia; Public Pensions; Retirement; Delayed Claiming; General Equilibrium; E60; H55; C61; J26;

    JEL classification:

    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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