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Justifying Public Provision of Social Security

Author

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  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff

    (Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

Abstract

The enormous expansion of the Social Security system over the last four decades has left the government very heavily involved in determining the savings and insurance of American households. While the growth of Social Security has been very substantial, it has also been gradual; this may explain the lack of focused debate on the pros and cons of government intervention in private saving and insurance decisions. This paper discusses the rationale for government intervention in this area as well as the evidence supporting the need for such intervention. While arguing the case for government provision of Social Security, the paper also points out significant shortcomings in the current system and suggests several needed reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1987. "Justifying Public Provision of Social Security," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 674-696.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:6:y:1987:i:4:p:674-696
    DOI: 10.2307/3323524
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Agnello & Nikola Altiparmakov & Michal Andrle & Maria Grazia Attinasi & Jan Babecký & Salvador Barrios & John Bluedorn & Vladimir Borgy & Othman Bouabdallah & Andries Brandsma & Adi Brender & Vít, 2016. "Beyond the austerity dispute: new priorities for fiscal policy," Workshop and Conferences 20, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    2. 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.
    3. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1997. "Parental Altruism and Inter Vivos Transfers: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1121-1166, December.
    4. Altonji, Joseph G & Hayashi, Fumio & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1992. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1177-1198, December.
    5. John A. Rizzo & Jody L. Sindelar, 1994. "Optimal Regulation of Multiply-Regulated Industries: The Case of Physician Services," NBER Working Papers 4822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Amihai Glazer & Charles Lave, 1994. "How Regulations Can Succeed Where Taxes Do Not: An Examination of Automobile Fuel Efficiency," Public Economics 9406002, EconWPA.
    7. Caliendo, Frank N. & Guo, Nick L., 2014. "Roosevelt And Prescott Come To An Agreement," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(06), pages 1383-1402, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Johan Lagerl–f, 2004. "Efficiency-enhancing signalling in the Samaritan's dilemma," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 55-69, January.
    10. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1990. "The Effects of Mandating Benefits Packages," NBER Working Papers 3260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Johan Lagerlöf, 1999. "Incomplete Information in the Samaritan's Dilemma: The Dilemma (Almost) Vanishes," CIG Working Papers FS IV 99-12, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG), revised Jun 2002.
    12. João Ricardo Faria & Emilson C.D. Silva, 2017. "Optimal Timing in Rotten Kid Families," CESifo Working Paper Series 6333, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. BOLDRIN, Michele & RUSTICHINI, Aldo, 1994. "Equilibria with Social Security," CORE Discussion Papers 1994060, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    14. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    15. 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.
    16. Thomas Aronsson & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Where Should the Elderly Live and Who Should Pay for Their Care?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(2), pages 289-314, June.
    17. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
    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.
    19. Olivia S. Mitchell, "undated". "Developments in Pensions," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-4, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
    20. Aronsson, Thomas & Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2007. "Where Should the Elderly Live and Who Should Pay for their Care? A Study in Demographics and Geographical Economics," Working Paper Series 2007:6, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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