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Improving the Equity-Efficiency Trade-off: Mandatory Savings Accounts for Social Insurance

  • Lans Bovenberg
  • Peter Birch Sørensen

In the modern welfare state a substantial part of an individual’s tax bill is transferred back to the same individual taxpayer in the form of social transfers. This provides a rationale for financing part of social insurance through mandatory savings accounts. We analyze the behavioral and welfare effects of compulsory savings accounts in an intertemporal model with uncertainty, endogenous involuntary unemployment and retirement decisions, credit constraints, and heterogeneous agents. We show that the introduction of (early) retirement and unemployment accounts generates a Pareto improvement by enabling the government to provide lifetime income insurance and liquidity insurance in a more efficient manner.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1041.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1041
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  1. BELAN, Pascal & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Privatizing social security: A critical assessment," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1407, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 640-647.
  3. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
  4. Joseph Stiglitz & Jungyoll Yun, 2002. "Integration of unemployment insurance with retirement insurance," Discussion Papers 0203-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Fölster, Stefan & Gidehag, Robert & Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 2002. "Assessing Welfare Accounts," CEPR Discussion Papers 3479, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Transition from a pay-as-you-go to a fully funded pension system: The case of differing individuals and intragenerational fairness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 131-146, April.
  7. Martin Feldstein & Daniel Altman, 2007. "Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 21, pages 35-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-64, May.
  9. Pauly, Mark V, 1974. "Overinsurance and Public Provision of Insurance: The Roles of Moral Hazard and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 44-62, February.
  10. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2000. "Why a Funded Pension System is Useful and Why It is Not Useful," NBER Working Papers 7592, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Orszag, Mike & Snower, Dennis J., 1997. "Expanding the Welfare System: A Proposal for Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 1674, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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