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Is Social Security Really Bad For Growth?

  • Giorgio Bellettini
  • Carlotta Berti Ceroni

This paper develops a model of endogenous growth with overlapping generations to investigate the joint determination of social security, public investment and growth in a small open economy. We show that a pure pay-as-you-go-system with indexed to wages benefits provides the taxpayers with the incentives to support growth-oriented policies, which increase the future productivity of labor. We find that outcomes characterized by positive levels of intergenerational redistribution, public investment and long run growth can be sustained as subgame-perfect Nash equilibria of an infinitely repeated intergenerational game, if and only if the marginal productivity of public capital is large enough. Furthermore, we show that transfers comove with public investment and growth. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 218.

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Date of creation: May 1995
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:218
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  1. Barro, R.J., 1988. "Government Spending In A Simple Model Of Endogenous Growth," RCER Working Papers 130, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
  3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-77, September.
  4. Michele Boldrin, 1993. "Public Education and Capital Accumulation," Working Papers 9301, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  5. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
  6. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth? Theory and Evidence," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt00x7n68q, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Boadway, Robin W & Wildasin, David E, 1989. "A Median Voter Model of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 307-28, May.
  8. G. Bellettini & C. Berti Ceroni, 1997. "Social Security and Growth: New Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 269, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  9. Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 3272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  11. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "A Cross-Country Study of Growth, Saving, and Government," NBER Chapters, in: National Saving and Economic Performance, pages 271-304 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  13. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  15. David A. Aschauer, 1989. "Public investment and productivity growth in the Group of Seven," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Sep, pages 17-25.
  16. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
  17. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X, 1996. " A Positive Theory of Social Security," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 2a77-304, June.
  18. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "Optimum Social Security in a Life-Cycle Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 539-44, October.
  19. Perotti, Roberto, 1996. " Growth, Income Distribution, and Democracy: What the Data Say," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 149-87, June.
  20. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1989. "A Political Theory of Government Debt and Deficits in a Neo-Ricardian Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 713-32, September.
  21. Per Krusell & José-Victor Ríos-Rull, 1994. "What Constitutions Promote Capital Accumulation? A Political-Economy Approach," Wallis Working Papers WP1, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  22. BOLDRIN, Michele & RUSTICHINI, Aldo, 1994. "Equilibria with Social Security," CORE Discussion Papers 1994060, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  23. Deborah Roseveare & Willi Leibfritz & Douglas Fore & Eckhard Wurzel, 1996. "Ageing Populations, Pension Systems and Government Budgets: Simulations for 20 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 168, OECD Publishing.
  24. Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1989. "Social Conflict and Populist Policies in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 2897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-88, September.
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