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Myopia and pensions in general equilibrium

  • Frank Caliendo

    ()

  • Emin Gahramanov

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

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s12197-011-9187-6
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 37 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 375-401

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jecfin:v:37:y:2013:i:3:p:375-401
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  1. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2005. "Labor Supply Effects of the Recent Social Security Benefit Cuts: Empirical Estimates Using Cohort Discontinuities," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 33, Collegio Carlo Alberto, revised 2006.
  2. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Douglas H. Joines, 2000. "Time inconsistent preferences and Social Security," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 136, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Maldonado, Darío & Pestieau, Pierre, 2006. "Voting Over Type and Generosity of a Pension System When Some Individuals are Myopic," CEPR Discussion Papers 5923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2002. "The Double Dividend of Postponing Retirement," IDEI Working Papers 144, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2003.
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  6. Frank N. Caliendo & Emin Gahramanov, 2008. "Hunting the Unobservables for Optimal Social Security: A General Equilibrium Approach," Economics Series 2008_10, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
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  15. Heijdra, Ben J. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2006. "The Macroeconomic Dynamics Of Demographic Shocks," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 349-370, June.
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  17. T. Findley & Frank Caliendo, 2009. "Short horizons, time inconsistency, and optimal social security," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 487-513, August.
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