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Retirement Financing: An Optimal Reform Approach

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  • Roozbeh Hosseini
  • Ali Shourideh

Abstract

We study Pareto optimal policy reforms aimed at overhauling retirement financing as an integral part of the tax and transfer system. Our framework for policy analysis is a heterogeneous‐agent overlapping‐generations model that performs well in matching the aggregate and distributional features of the U.S. economy. We present a test of Pareto optimality that identifies the main source of inefficiency in the status quo policies. Our test suggests that lack of asset subsidies late in life is the main source of inefficiency when annuity markets are incomplete. We solve for Pareto optimal policy reforms and show that progressive asset subsidies provide a powerful tool for Pareto optimal reforms. On the other hand, earnings tax reforms do not always yield efficiency gains. We implement our Pareto optimal policy reform in an economy that features demographic change. The reform reduces the present discounted value of net resources consumed by each generation by about 7 to 11 percent in the steady state. These gains amount to a one‐time lump‐sum transfer to the initial generation equal to 10.5 percent of GDP.

Suggested Citation

  • Roozbeh Hosseini & Ali Shourideh, 2019. "Retirement Financing: An Optimal Reform Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(4), pages 1205-1265, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:87:y:2019:i:4:p:1205-1265
    DOI: 10.3982/ECTA15088
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    1. Retirement Financing: An Optimal Reform Approach
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2016-07-01 19:32:53

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    Cited by:

    1. Weidong Tian & Zimu Zhu, 2020. "A Portfolio Choice Problem Under Risk Capacity Constraint," Papers 2005.13741, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2021.
    2. Bastani, Spencer & Waldenström, Daniel, 2018. "How Should Capital Be Taxed? Theory and Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 11475, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Jesper Bagger & Mads Hejlesen & Kazuhiko Sumiya & Rune Vejlin, 2018. "Income Taxation and the Equilibrium Allocation of Labor," Economics Working Papers 2018-06, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    4. Spencer Bastani & Daniel Waldenström, 2020. "How Should Capital Be Taxed?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(4), pages 812-846, September.
    5. Spencer Bastani & Daniel Waldenström, 2018. "How should capital be taxed? The Swedish experience," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02878153, HAL.
    6. Abdoulaye Ndiaye, 2017. "Flexible Retirement and Optimal Taxation," Working Paper Series WP-2018-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    7. George Kudrna & Chung Tran & Alan Woodland, 2018. "Sustainable and Equitable Pensions with Means Testing in Aging Economies," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2018-666, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    8. Heathcote, Jonathan & Storesletten, Kjetil & Violante, Giovanni L., 2020. "Optimal progressivity with age-dependent taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    9. Torben Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya, 2020. "Intergenerational Debt Dynamics Without Tears," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 35, pages 192-219, January.
    10. Moser, Christian & Olea de Souza e Silva, Pedro, 2019. "Optimal Paternalistic Savings Policies," MPRA Paper 95383, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Woodland, A., 2016. "Taxation, Pensions, and Demographic Change," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 713-780, Elsevier.
    12. Li, Yue, 2018. "Paradoxical effects of increasing the normal retirement age: A prospective evaluation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 512-527.
    13. Yena Park, 2018. "Optimal Taxation of Inheritance and Retirement Savings," 2018 Meeting Papers 1246, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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