IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/h/nbr/nberch/10593.html
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?

In: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform

Author

Listed:
  • Antonio Rangel
  • Richard Zeckhauser

Abstract

Are market and voting institutions capable of producing optimal intergenerational risk-sharing? To study this question, we consider a simple endowment economy with uncertainty and overlapping generations. Endowments are stochastic; thus it is possible to increase the welfare of every generation using intergenerational transfers that might depend on the state of the world. We characterize the transfers that are necessary to restore efficiency and compare them to the transfers that take place in markets and voting institutions. Unlike most of that literature, we study both ex-ante and interim risk-sharing. Our main conclusion is that both types of institutions have serious problems. Markets cannot generate ex-ante risk-sharing because agents can trade only after they are born. Furthermore, markets generate interim efficient insurance in some but not all economies because they cannot generate forward (old to young) intergenerational transfers. This market failure, in theory, could be corrected by government intervention. However, as long as government policy is determined by voting, intergenerational transfers might by driven more by redistributive politics than by risk sharing considerations. Successful government intervention can arise, even though agents can only vote after they are born, but only if the young determine policy in every election.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Rangel & Richard Zeckhauser, 2001. "Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 113-152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10593
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c10593.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher Phelan & Robert M. Townsend, 1991. "Computing Multi-Period, Information-Constrained Optima," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(5), pages 853-881.
    2. Shavell, Steven & Weiss, Laurence, 1979. "The Optimal Payment of Unemployment Insurance Benefits over Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1347-1362, December.
    3. Enders, Walter & Lapan, Harvey E, 1982. "Social Security Taxation and Intergenerational Risk Sharing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(3), pages 647-658, October.
    4. Peled, Dan, 1982. "Informational diversity over time and the optimality of monetary equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 255-274, December.
    5. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    6. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 1999. "The risk-sharing implications of alternative social security arrangements," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 213-259, June.
    7. James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
    8. Jerry R. Green, 1977. "Mitigating Demographic Risk Through Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 0215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 185-202, November.
    10. Cass, David & Shell, Karl, 1983. "Do Sunspots Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 193-227, April.
    11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1977. "Reply to muench and polemarchakis and weiss," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 351-352, August.
    12. Smith, Alasdair, 1982. "Intergenerational transfers as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 97-106, October.
    13. Manuelli, Rodolfo, 1990. "Existence and optimality of currency equilibrium in stochastic overlapping generations models: The pure endowment case," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 268-294, August.
    14. Peled, Dan, 1984. "Stationary pareto optimality of stochastic asset equilibria with overlapping generations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 396-403, December.
    15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
    16. Baxter, Marianne, 1989. "Money and market incompleteness in overlapping generations models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 69-91, July.
    17. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-1174, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Hassler, J. & Lindbeck, A., 1997. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing, Stability and Optimality of Alternative Pension Systems," Papers 631, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    2. Simon Fan & Yu Pang & Pierre Pestieau, 2022. "Investment in children, social security, and intragenerational risk sharing," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 29(2), pages 286-315, April.
    3. Bohn, Henning, 1998. "Risk Sharing in a Stochastic Overlapping Generations Economy," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt9r2809f0, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    4. Ohtaki, Eisei, 2014. "Tractable graphical device for analyzing stationary stochastic OLG economies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 16-26.
    5. Lancia, Francesco & Russo, Alessia & Worrall, Tim S, 2020. "Optimal Sustainable Intergenerational Insurance," CEPR Discussion Papers 15540, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The pay-as-you-go pension system as fertility insurance and an enforcement device," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1335-1357, July.
    7. Martin Barbie & Marcus Hagedorn & Ashok Kaul, 2006. "Fostering Within-Family Human-Capital Investment: An Intragenerational Insurance Perspective of Social Security," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(4), pages 503-529, December.
    8. Torben M. Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Qing Liu, 2020. "Reference-Dependent Preferences, Time Inconsistency, and Unfunded Pensions," CESifo Working Paper Series 8260, CESifo.
    9. Borgmann, Christoph, 2002. "Labor income risk, demographic risk, and the design of (wage-indexed) social security," Discussion Papers 100, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Finanzwissenschaft.
    10. Chattopadhyay, Subir, 2018. "The unit root property and optimality with a continuum of states—Pure exchange," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 105-118.
    11. Torben M. Andersen & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Qing Liu, 2021. "Reference‐dependent preferences, time inconsistency, and pay‐as‐you‐go pensions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 59(3), pages 1008-1030, July.
    12. Gabrielle Demange, 2009. "On Sustainable Pay‐as‐You‐Go Contribution Rules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(4), pages 493-527, August.
    13. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2010. "Political intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 628-637, October.
    14. John Duffy, 2008. "Macroeconomics: A Survey of Laboratory Research," Working Paper 334, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh, revised Jun 2014.
    15. Barbie, Martin & Hagedorn, Marcus & Kaul, Ashok, 2000. "Dynamic Efficiency and Pareto Optimality in a Stochastic OLG Model with Production and Social Security," IZA Discussion Papers 209, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Daniel Harenberg & Alexander Ludwig, 2019. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Aggregate Risk, And The Welfare Effects Of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(2), pages 661-692, May.
    17. Buiter, W.H. & Kletzer, K.M., 1992. "Government Solvency, Ponzi Finance and the Redundancy and Usefulness of Public Debt," Papers 659, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    18. Chattopadhyay, Subir & Gottardi, Piero, 1999. "Stochastic OLG Models, Market Structure, and Optimality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 21-67, November.
    19. Matsen, Egil & Thogersen, Oystein, 2004. "Designing social security - a portfolio choice approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 883-904, August.
    20. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "The role of overlapping-generations models in monetary economics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 9-44, January.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10593. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.