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Myopia, redistribution and pensions

  • CREMER, Helmuth
  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

This paper reviews a number of recent contributions that study pension design with myopic individuals. Its objective is to explore how the presence of more or less myopic individuals affects pension design when individuals differ also in productivity. This double heterogeneity gives rise to an interesting interplay between paternalistic and redistributive considerations, which is at the heart of most of the results that are presented. The main part of the paper is devoted to the issue of pension design when myopic individual do not save "enough" for their retirement because their "myopic self" (with a high discount rate) emerges when labor supply and savings decisions are made. Some extensions and variations are considered in the second part. In particular we deal with situations where labor disutility or preferences for consumption are subject to "habit formation" and where sin goods have a detrimental effect on second period health. Myopic individuals tend to underestimate the effects of both habit formation and sinful consumption, which complicates public policy.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number -2269.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:-2269
Note: In : European Economic Review, 55(2), 165-175, 2011
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  1. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  2. CREMER, Helmuth & DE DONDER, Philippe & MALDONADO, Dario & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2006. "Designing a linear pension scheme with forced savings and wage heterogeneity," CORE Discussion Papers 2006047, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. CREMER, Helmuth & DE DONDER, Philippe & MALDONADO, Dario & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Voting over type and generosity of a pension system when some individuals are myopic," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2051, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. T. Findley & Frank Caliendo, 2008. "The behavioral justification for public pensions: a survey," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 409-425, October.
  5. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2001. "Imperfect Knowledge, Retirement and Saving," NBER Working Papers 8406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & ROCHET, Jean-Charles, 2001. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," CORE Discussion Papers 2001020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann & Fabian Kindermann, 2006. "Social Security with Rational and Hyperbolic Consumers," Working Papers 010, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  8. Docquier, Frederic, 2002. "On the optimality of public pensions in an economy with life-cyclers and myopes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 121-140, January.
  9. Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262541823, June.
  10. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Douglas H. Joines, 2003. "Time-Inconsistent Preferences And Social Security," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 745-784, May.
  11. Francois Salanie & Nicolas Treich, 2006. "Over-savings and hyperbolic discounting," Working Papers 15949, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  12. Pierre Pestieau & Uri Possen, 2008. "Prodigality And Myopia-Two Rationales For Social Security," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 76(6), pages 629-652, December.
  13. Hans Fehr & Fabian Kindermann, 2009. "Pension funding and individual accounts in economies with life-cyclers and myopes," Working Papers 2009/23, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  14. Feldstein, Martin S, 1985. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 303-20, May.
  15. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  16. T. Findley & Frank Caliendo, 2009. "Short horizons, time inconsistency, and optimal social security," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 487-513, August.
  17. Louis Kaplow, 2006. "Myopia and the Effects of Social Security and Capital Taxation on Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 12452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
  19. Sanna Tenhunen & Matti Tuomala, 2010. "On Optimal Lifetime Redistribution Policy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(1), pages 171-198, 02.
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