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Myopia, redistribution and pensions

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  • CREMER, Helmuth
  • PESTIEAU, Pierre

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2011. "Myopia, redistribution and pensions," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2269, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2269
    Note: In : European Economic Review, 55(2), 165-175, 2011
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2010.07.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Maldonado, Dario & Pestieau, Pierre, 2007. "Voting over type and generosity of a pension system when some individuals are myopic," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 2041-2061, November.
    2. 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, February.
    3. Helmuth Cremer & Philippe Donder & Dario Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Designing a linear pension scheme with forced savings and wage heterogeneity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(5), pages 547-562, October.
    4. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2003. "Capital income taxation when inherited wealth is not observable," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(11), pages 2475-2490, 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. 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.
    7. T. Findley & Frank Caliendo, 2009. "Short horizons, time inconsistency, and optimal social security," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(4), pages 487-513, August.
    8. 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.
    9. Peter A. Diamond, 2005. "Taxation, Incomplete Markets, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262541823, January.
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    11. Hans Fehr & Fabian Kindermann, 2010. "Pension Funding and Individual Accounts in Economies with Life-cyclers and Myopes," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(3), pages 404-443, September.
    12. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
    13. Martin Feldstein, 1985. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 303-320.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu & Douglas H. Joines, 2003. "Time-Inconsistent Preferences and Social Security," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 745-784.
    17. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    18. T. Findley & Frank Caliendo, 2008. "The behavioral justification for public pensions: a survey," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 32(4), pages 409-425, October.
    19. Salanie, Francois & Treich, Nicolas, 2006. "Over-savings and hyperbolic discounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1557-1570, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fehr, Hans & Uhde, Johannes, 2012. "Optimal Pension Design in General Equlibrium," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62024, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Driscoll, John C. & Holden, Steinar, 2014. "Behavioral economics and macroeconomic models," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 133-147.
    3. Torben M. Andersen, 2015. "How Should Pensions be Taxed? Theoretical Considerations and the Scandinavian Experience," CESifo Working Paper Series 5660, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Emmanuel Farhi & Xavier Gabaix, 2015. "Optimal Taxation with Behavioral Agents," Working Paper 305366, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    5. Koehne, Sebastian & Kuhn, Moritz, 2015. "Optimal taxation in a habit formation economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 31-39.
    6. Frank Caliendo & T. Findley, 2013. "Limited computational ability and social security," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(3), pages 414-433, June.
    7. Marcin Bielecki & Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Waniek, 2015. "Inequalities in an OLG economy with heterogeneity within cohorts and pension systems," Working Papers 2015-16, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    8. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2016. "Taxing Pensions," CORE Discussion Papers 2016006, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:25:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9452-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Fehr, Hans & Uhde, Johannes, 2014. "Means-testing and economic efficiency in pension design," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 44(S1), pages 57-67.
    11. Andersen, Torben M. & Bhattacharya, Joydeep, 2016. "Why mandate young borrowers to contribute to their retirement accounts?," ISU General Staff Papers 201609260700001016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    12. András Simonovits, 2015. "Socially optimal contribution rate and cap in a proportional (DC) pension system," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 14(1), pages 45-63, December.
    13. Guo, Nick L. & Caliendo, Frank N., 2014. "Time-inconsistent preferences and time-inconsistent policies," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 102-108.
    14. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2016. "Public Pensions in a Multi-Period Mirrleesian Income Tax Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 6206, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz & Marcin Bielecki, 2017. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," GRAPE Working Papers 21, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    16. Itzik Fadlon & Jessica Laird & Torben Heien Nielsen, 2016. "Do Employer Pension Contributions Reflect Employee Preferences? Evidence from a Retirement Savings Reform in Denmark," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 196-216, July.
    17. Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant & Jean-Denis Garon, 2015. "Optimal redistributive pensions and the cost of self-control," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(5), pages 723-740, October.
    18. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2016. "Reforming retirement age in DB and DC pension systems in an aging OLG economy with heterogenous agents," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, December.
    19. repec:eee:hapoch:v1_713 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Andras Simonovits, 2013. "A family of simple paternalistic transfer models," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1324, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    21. Simonovits Andras, 2017. "Jumping the welfare gap in designing public transfers," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1707, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    22. Cheng, Chu-Chuan & Chu, Hsun, 2017. "Optimal Policies for Sin Goods and Health Care: Tax or Subsidy?," MPRA Paper 80183, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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