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Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design

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  • Laurence Ball
  • N. Gregory Mankiw

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal allocation of risk in an overlapping-generations economy. It compares the allocation of risk the economy reaches naturally to the allocation that would be reached if generations behind a Rawlsian "veil of ignorance" could share risk with one another through complete Arrow-Debreu contingent-claims markets. The paper then examines how the government might implement optimal intergenerational risk sharing with a social security system. One conclusion is that the system must either hold equity claims to capital or negatively index benefits to equity returns. (c) 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2007. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 523-547, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:115:y:2007:i:4:p:523-547
    DOI: 10.1086/520646
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
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    7. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2007. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 523-547, August.
    8. Martin Feldstein & Elena Ranguelova, 2001. "Individual Risk in an Investment-Based Social Security System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1116-1125, September.
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    10. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1999. "Maintaining Social Security Benefits and Tax Rates through Personal Retirement Accounts: An Update Based on the 1998 Social Security Trustees Report," NBER Working Papers 6540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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