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On myopia as rationale for social security

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  • Torben Andersen

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  • Joydeep Bhattacharya

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Abstract

It has been argued that "paternalistically motivated forced savings constitutes an important, and to some the most important, rationale for social security retirement systems." This paper revisits the role played by myopia in generating a theoretical rationale for pay-as-you-go social security in dynamically efficient economies. If the competing asset is linear storage and myopic agents are allowed to borrow against future pension benefits, there is no welfare-rationale for pay-as-you-go pensions. In that case, sufficently-strong myopia may justify such pensions only if agents cannot borrow against their future pension, and are at a zero-saving corner. With enough myopia, co-existence of positive optimal pensions and positive private saving is possible if the return to saving declines with saving, as in a model with a neoclassical technology.
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Suggested Citation

  • Torben Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 2011. "On myopia as rationale for social security," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(1), pages 135-158, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joecth:v:47:y:2011:i:1:p:135-158
    DOI: 10.1007/s00199-010-0528-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Torben M. Andersen, 2015. "How Should Pensions be Taxed? Theoretical Considerations and the Scandinavian Experience," CESifo Working Paper Series 5660, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2016. "Why mandate young borrowers to contribute to their retirement accounts?," ISU General Staff Papers 201609260700001016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 213-237, January.
    4. Amitrajeet A. Batabyal & Peter Nijkamp, 2018. "On pessimism and optimism by forward looking agents and the need for pensions," Asia-Pacific Journal of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-14, April.
    5. John C. Driscoll & Steinar Holden, 2014. "Behavioral Economics and Macroeconomic Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 4785, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Min Wang, 2014. "Optimal education policies under endogenous borrowing constraints," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 55(1), pages 135-159, January.
    7. Driscoll, John C. & Holden, Steinar, 2014. "Behavioral economics and macroeconomic models," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 133-147.
    8. D'Orlando, Fabio & Sanfilippo, Eleonora, 2010. "Behavioral foundations for the Keynesian consumption function," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1035-1046, December.
    9. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2013. "Unfunded Pensions And Endogenous Labor Supply," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 971-997, July.
    10. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2016. "Reforming retirement age in DB and DC pension systems in an aging OLG economy with heterogenous agents," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, December.
    11. Chu-chuan Cheng & Hsun Chu, 2018. "Optimal policies for sin goods and health care: Tax or subsidy?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(2), pages 412-429, April.
    12. Minwook Kang, 2019. "Pareto-improving tax policies under hyperbolic discounting," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(3), pages 618-660, June.
    13. Bishnu, Monisankar & Wang, Min, 2017. "The political intergenerational welfare state," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 93-110.
    14. Caliendo, Frank N. & Guo, Nick L., 2014. "Roosevelt And Prescott Come To An Agreement," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(6), pages 1383-1402, September.
    15. Guo, Nick L. & Caliendo, Frank N., 2014. "Time-inconsistent preferences and time-inconsistent policies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 102-108.
    16. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2016. "Public Pensions in a Multi-Period Mirrleesian Income Tax Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 6206, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Simonovits, András, 2018. "Hogyan értékelte alá a tb-nyugdíj "optimális" szintjét Feldstein 1985-ben?
      [How did Feldstein undervalue the "optimal" level of social-security benefits?]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(1), pages 66-73.
    18. Batabyal, Amitrajeet & Nijkamp, Peter, 2016. "On Pessimism and Optimism by Forward Looking Agents and the Need for Social Security," MPRA Paper 75965, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Jan 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Myopia; Pensions; Social security; Dynamic efficiency; H 55; E 6;

    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

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