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Privatizing social security: a critical assessment

Author

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  • BELAN, Pascal

    (GREQAM, Université de la Méditerranée)

  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

    () (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain la Neuve, Belgium and CREPP, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium and DELTA, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical evaluation of theoretical models showing that shifting from pay-as-you-go to funded social security schemes can be made Pareto-improving. Further, it argues that what often makes a reform toward funded schemes attractive is a number of additional features that could have been introduced as well in the unfunded social security system. The paper is organized in three main sections. The first presents a taxonomy of social security systems; this allows for showing that in privatization programs the issue is not just moving from unfunded to fully funded techniques, but also, and above all, individualizing the system is such a way that there is no more redistribution. The second shows that funded and pay-as-you-go schemes are perfectly equivalent as long as the payroll taxes paid during the period of inception of the pay-as-you-go scheme are duly invested. Finally, the third section presents two models of Pareto-improving social security reforms and discusses the assumptions on which they rely.

Suggested Citation

  • BELAN, Pascal & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1997. "Privatizing social security: a critical assessment," CORE Discussion Papers 1997084, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1997084
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    Cited by:

    1. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Reforming our pension system: Is it a demographic, financial or political problem?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 974-983, May.
    2. Nicholas Barr & Peter Diamond, 2006. "The Economics of Pensions," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 15-39, Spring.
    3. Yvonne Adema & Lex Meijdam & Harrie Verbon, 2009. "The international spillover effects of pension reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(5), pages 670-696, October.
    4. Alain Jousten & Pierre Pestieau, 2002. "Labor Mobility, Redistribution, and Pension Reform in Europe," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Pension Reform in Europe, pages 85-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pestieau, Pierre & Possen, Uri M., 2000. "Investing Social Security in the Equity Market. Does It Make a Difference?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(1), pages 41-58, March.
    6. Antoine D'Autume, 2003. "L'impact du vieillissement démographique sur les mécanismes macroéconomiques," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00452552, HAL.
    7. Barr, Nicholas, 2002. "Reforming pensions : myths, truths, and policy choices," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 286, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Marko Köthenbürger & Panu Poutvaara, 2002. "Social Security Reform and Intergenerational Trade: Is there Scope for a Pareto-Improvement?," CESifo Working Paper Series 795, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Berthold U. Wigger, 1999. "Public Pensions and Growth," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(2), pages 241-241, June.
    10. Christophe Hachon, 2008. "Redistribution, Pension Systems and Capital Accumulation," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 32(3), pages 339-368.
    11. Bertrand Wigniolle & Philippe Michel & Pascal Belan, 2002. "Pension funds and capital accumulation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(1), pages 1-8.
    12. Helmut Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1999. "Coping with the pension crisis: is it a demographic, financial or political problem?," CREPP Working Papers 9907, Centre de Recherche en Economie Publique et de la Population (CREPP) (Research Center on Public and Population Economics) HEC-Management School, University of Liège.
    13. A. Lans Bovenberg & Peter Birch Sørensen, 2004. "Improving the Equity-Efficiency Trade-Off: Mandatory Savings Accounts for Social Insurance," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(4), pages 507-529, August.
    14. Marcin Bielecki & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz & Marcin Waniek, 2015. "In the search for the optimal path to establish a funded pension system," Working Papers 2015-22, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    15. Oliwia Komada & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Welfare effects of fiscal policy in reforming the pension system," GRAPE Working Papers 11, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    16. Hisahiro Naito, 2015. "Immigration as a Policy Tool for the Double Burden Problem of Prefunding Pay-as-you-go Social Security System," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2015-002, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.
    17. Pascal Belan & Philippe Michel & Bertrand Wigniolle, 2007. "Capital Accumulation, Welfare, and the Emergence of Pension-Fund Activism," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(1), pages 54-82, March.
    18. Weizsäcker, Robert K. von & Wigger, Berthold U., 2001. "Rentenfinanzierung und intergenerationelle Gerechtigkeit : Eine wachstumstheoretische Perspektive," Discussion Papers 606, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    19. PESTIEAU, Pierre & POSSEN, Uri, 2000. "Macroeconomic implications of switching the social security trust fund towards a greater investment in equities," CORE Discussion Papers 2000035, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    20. Ermolieva, Tatiana, 2005. "Simulation-based optimization of social security systems under uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 166(3), pages 782-793, November.
    21. Antoine D'Autume, 2003. "Ageing and retirement age. What can we learn from the Overlapping Generations Model ?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00452561, HAL.
    22. Pestieau, Pierre & Possen, Uri M., 2000. "Investing Social Security in the Equity Market. Does it Make a Difference?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 1), pages 41-58, March.
    23. Mauri Kotamäki, 2013. "The Pension Scheme Need Not Be Pay-As-You-Go: An Overlapping Generations Approach," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 56-71, Autumn.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social security; privatization; retiremen;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • D9 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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