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Social Security Systems, Human Capital, and Growth in a Small Open Economy

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  • Michael Kaganovich
  • Volker Meier

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Abstract

We consider a small open economy in which the level of public education funding is determined by popular vote. We show that growth can be enhanced by the introduction of pay-as-you-go pensions even if the growth rate of aggregate wages falls short of the interest rate. The reason is that the PAYG system allows future retirees to partially internalize positive externalities of public education due to the positive effect of higher future labor productivity on their pension benefits. The majority support for education funding will be especially strong when the PAYG benefit formula is flat, i.e. progressively redistributive. This means that if a flat benefit PAYG pension system is in place then the economy will achieve the highest growth rate relative to the alternative pension system designs. We argue furthermore that while such PAYG pension system may be opposed by the majority of working individuals due to inferior returns to their pension contributions relative to a funded scheme, it is likely to be politically sustained by the coalition of retirees and lower income workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Kaganovich & Volker Meier, 2008. "Social Security Systems, Human Capital, and Growth in a Small Open Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 2488, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2488
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    Cited by:

    1. Ono, Tetsuo & Uchida, Yuki, 2018. "Human capital, public debt, and economic growth: A political economy analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-14.
    2. Tetsuo Ono, 2014. "Intergenerational Politics, Government Debt, and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-23-Rev.2, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics, revised Jun 2015.
    3. Gilles Le Garrec, 2015. "Increased longevity and social security reform: questioning the optimality of individual accounts when education matters," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 329-352, April.
    4. Ono, Tetsuo & Uchida, Yuki, 2016. "Pensions, education, and growth: A positive analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 127-143.
    5. Buyse, Tim & Heylen, Freddy & Van De Kerckhove, Renaat, 2017. "Pension reform in an OLG model with heterogeneous abilities," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 144-172, April.
    6. Tetsuo Ono & Yuki Uchida, 2018. "Capital Income Taxation, Economic Growth, and the Politics of Public Education," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 18-05, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    7. Yuki Uchida & Tetsuo Ono, 2018. "Generational Conflict and Education Politics: Implications for Growth and Welfare," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 18-05-Rev.2, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics, revised Apr 2019.
    8. Cheng Yuan & Chengjian Li & Lauren A. Johnston, 2018. "The intergenerational education spillovers of pension reform in China," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(3), pages 671-701, July.
    9. Tetsuo Ono, 2015. "Public education and social security: a political economy approach," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 1-25, February.
    10. Stauvermann, Peter Josef & Kumar, Ronald, 2014. "Enhancing Growth and Welfare through debt-financed Education," MPRA Paper 59455, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Peter J. Stauvermann & Frank Wernitz, 2019. "Why Child Allowances Fail to Solve the Pension Problem of Aging Societies," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-16, December.
    12. Tim BUYSE & Freddy HEYLEN & Renaat VAN DE KERCKHOVE, 2011. "Pension reform, employment by age and long-run growth," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2011025, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    13. Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe & Guadalupe Valera, 2012. "Social security reform and the support for public education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 609-634, January.
    14. Hu, Weizhen, 2019. "Policy effects on transitional welfare in an overlapping generations model: A pay-as-you-go pension reconsidered," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 40-48.
    15. Tim Buyse & Freddy Heylen & Renaat Van de Kerckhove, 2013. "Pension reform, employment by age, and long-run growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 769-809, April.
    16. Tetsuo Ono, 2014. "Economic Growth and the Politics of Intergenerational Redistribution," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-17, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    17. Mario Holzner & Stefan Jestl & David Pichler, 2019. "Public and Private Pension Systems and Macroeconomic Volatility in OECD Countries," wiiw Working Papers 172, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    18. Peter J. Stauvermann & Ronald R. Kumar, 2016. "Sustainability of A Pay-as-you-Go Pension System in A Small Open Economy with Ageing, Human Capital and Endogenous Fertility," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 2-20, February.
    19. Casamatta, G. & Batté, L., 2016. "The Political Economy of Population Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 381-444, Elsevier.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    pay-as-you-go pensions; social security; public education; growth; majority voting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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