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Voting over Type and Generosity of a Pension System When Some Individuals Are Myopic

In: Public Policy and Retirement, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES)

Author

Listed:
  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Philippe De Donder
  • Dario Maldonado
  • Pierre Pestieau

Abstract

This paper studies the determination through majority voting of a pension scheme when society consists of far-sighted and myopic individuals. All individuals have the same basic preferences but myopics tend to adopt a short term view (instant gratification) when dealing with retirement saving. Consequently, they will find themselves with low consumption after retirement and regret their insufficient savings decisions. Henceforth, when voting they tend to commit themselves into forced saving. We consider a pension scheme that is characterized by two parameters: the payroll tax rate (that determines the size or generosity of the system) and the 'Bismarckian factor' that determines its redistributiveness. Individuals vote sequentially. We examine how the introduction of myopic agents affects the generosity and the redistributiveness of the pension system. Our main result is that a flat pension system is always chosen when all individuals are of one kind (all far-sighted or all myopic), while a less redistributive system may be chosen if society is composed of both myopic and far-sighted agents. Furthermore, while myopic individuals tend to prefer larger payroll taxes than their far-sighted counterparts, the generosity of the system does not always increase with the proportion of myopics.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder & Dario Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2007. "Voting over Type and Generosity of a Pension System When Some Individuals Are Myopic," NBER Chapters,in: Public Policy and Retirement, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), pages 2041-2061 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:4364
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, pages 91-196.
    2. Luc Arrondel & André Masson & Daniel Verger, 2004. "Mesurer les préférences individuelles pour le présent," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 374(1), pages 87-128.
    3. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1-24.
    4. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    5. Martin Feldstein, 1985. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 303-320.
    6. Roland Benabou and Jean Tirole, 2004. "Willpower and Personal Rules," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 848-886, August.
    7. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Paola Profeta, 2007. "The Redistributive Design of Social Security Systems," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 686-712, April.
    8. Assar Lindbeck & Mats Persson, 2003. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 74-112.
    9. Assar Lindbeck & Mats Persson, 2003. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 74-112.
    10. George-Marios Angeletos, 2001. "The Hyberbolic Consumption Model: Calibration, Simulation, and Empirical Evaluation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 47-68.
    11. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale & John Karl Scholz, 1994. "Do Saving Incentives Work?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, pages 85-180.
    12. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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