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Social Security and Macroeconomic Risk in General Equilibrium

  • Peter Broer


This paper studies the interaction between macro-economic risk and paygo social security. For this, it uses an applied general equilibrium model with overlapping generations of risk-averse households. The sources of risk are productivity shocks and depreciation shocks. The risk profile of pensions differs from that of financial assets because pensions are linked partially to future wage rates and productivity. The model is used to discuss the effects of changes in the social security system on labor supply, private saving, and welfare in a closed economy.�The author finds that switching from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution is generally welfare improving, if current generations are compensated, while a switch from a wage-indexed Defined Benefit system to a price-indexed system is generally welfare deteriorating. A reduction in the size of the pay-as-you-go system does not yield clear results: if current generations are compensated, some future generations lose, and others gain.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 221.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:221
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  1. Egil Matsen & Øystein Thøgersen, 2000. "Designing Social Security – A Portfolio Choice Approach," Working Paper Series 1102, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  2. Breyer, Friedrich & Straub, Martin, 1991. "Welfare effects of unfunded pension systems when labor supply is endogenous," Discussion Papers, Series I 252, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  3. Sanchez-Marcos, Virginia & Sanchez-Martin, Alfonso R., 2006. "Can social security be welfare improving when there is demographic uncertainty?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1615-1646.
  4. Henning Bohn, 2001. "Social Security and Demographic Uncertainty: The Risk-Sharing Properties of Alternative Policies," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 203-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Henning Bohn, 1999. "Online Appendix to Should the Social Security Trust Fund hold Equities? An Intergenerational Welfare Analysis," Technical Appendices bohn99, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  6. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  7. Homburg, Stefan, 2014. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-523, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  8. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2002. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Seminar Papers 712, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Robin Brooks, 2000. "What Will Happen To Financial Markets When The Baby Boomers Retire?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 92, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. Robin Brooks, 2000. "What Will Happen to Financial Markets When the Baby Boomers Retire?," IMF Working Papers 00/18, International Monetary Fund.
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