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Intergenerational Risk Sharing, Stability and Optimality of Alternative Pension Systems

  • Hassler, John
  • Lindbeck, Assar

In an analysis of the risk-sharing properties of different types of pension systems, we show that only fixed-fee pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pension systems can provide risk sharing for living individuals. Under some circumstances, however, other PAYG pension systems can enhance the expected welfare of all generations by reducing intergenerational income variability. The paper derives conditions for this to occur. It also analyses the stability of actuarially fair PAYG pension systems. It is shown that if an actuarially fair pension with a non-balanced budget system is dynamically stable, its accumulated surpluses will converge to the same fund as in a fully funded system. The paper also shows that the welfare loss due to labour market distortions will, in fact, increase if the implicit marginal return in a compulsary system is raised above the average return.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1774.

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Date of creation: Dec 1997
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1774
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  1. Orazio Attanasio & Steven J. Davis, 1994. "Relative Wage Movements and the Distribution of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Philippe Weil, 2001. "Dynamic Efficiency, the Riskless Rate, and Debt Ponzi Games under Uncertainty," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/8607, Sciences Po.
  3. Zilcha, Itzhak, 1991. "Characterizing efficiency in stochastic overlapping generations models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, October.
  4. Hassler, John & Lindbeck, Assar, 1997. "Optimal actuarial fairness in pension systems: A note," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 251-255, August.
  5. Martin Feldstein, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," NBER Working Papers 5413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roger H. Gordon & Hal R. Varian, 1985. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing," NBER Working Papers 1730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bohn, Henning, 1995. "The Sustainability of Budget Deficits in a Stochastic Economy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 257-71, February.
  8. Enders, Walter & Lapan, Harvey E, 1982. "Social Security Taxation and Intergenerational Risk Sharing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(3), pages 647-58, October.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  11. Smith, Alasdair, 1982. "Intergenerational transfers as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 97-106, October.
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