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Social Security with Rational and Hyperbolic Consumers

  • Hans Fehr
  • Christian Habermann
  • Fabian Kindermann

The present paper studies the role of social security in an economy populated by overlapping generations of individuals that have time-consistent or time-inconsistent preferences, face mortality and individual income risk, borrowing constraints as well as progressive income taxes. Our simulations start from an artificial equilibrium where social security is completely neutral. Next we introduce successively alternative deviations from neutrality in order to isolate the various economic effects of social security. The latter are mainly the insurance provision against mortality and income risk, the negative liquidity effects for young households and the provision of a commitment technology for present-biased hyperbolic consumers. Our simulations indicate that the positive effects of social security dominate the negative ones for a wide range of parameter combinations. For our central parametrization social security induces an overall welfare gain which amounts to roughly 1.5 percent of aggregate resources in the hyperbolic model and a welfare loss of about 0.5 percent of resources in the model with rational consumers.

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File URL: http://www.bgpe.de/texte/DP/010_habermann1.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Paper provided by Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE) in its series Working Papers with number 010.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bav:wpaper:010_kindermann1
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.bgpe.de/
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  8. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Pension reform during the demographic transition," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 8, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  9. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?," NBER Working Papers 11622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. George-Marios Angeletos, 2001. "The Hyberbolic Consumption Model: Calibration, Simulation, and Empirical Evaluation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 47-68, Summer.
  14. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Douglas H. Joines, 2000. "Time inconsistent preferences and Social Security," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 136, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  17. Luisa Fuster & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2003. "A welfare analysis of social security in a dynastic framework," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1247-1274, November.
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  20. Robert Fenge & Silke Uebelmesser & Martin Werding, 2006. "On the Optimal Timing of Implicit Social Security Taxes Over the Life Cycle," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(1), pages 68-107, March.
  21. Christian Habermann & Fabian Kindermann, 2007. "Multidimensional Spline Interpolation: Theory and Applications," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 30(2), pages 153-169, September.
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