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Aggregate Risk, Political Constraints and Social Security Design


  • D'Amato, Marcello
  • Galasso, Vincenzo


In a stochastic environment, with political constraints, we analyse the behavior of a fully funded system, whose portfolio is composed of a risk free and a risky asset. When an aggregate negative shock hits, a large share of the wealth of the elderly is wiped out and office-seeking policy-makers ‘bail them out,’ by instituting a long-lasting PAYG system. Under these political constraints, a fully funded system suffers from a moral hazard problem, since agents have an incentive to choose a riskier portfolio, which increases the wealth loss associated with the bad state. The introduction of a mixed system reduces the riskiness of the portfolio, which remains however higher than in the case of no policy-maker’s intervention. Furthermore, the early adoption of a mixed system, previous to the occurrence of a negative shock, eliminates the policy-maker’s incentive to intervene, albeit at a high cost. In fact, its unfunded pillar would be larger than the PAYG system introduced in the case of a bad shock. In our dynamically efficient economy, this would amount to impose an extra loss on all future generations.

Suggested Citation

  • D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2002. "Aggregate Risk, Political Constraints and Social Security Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3330, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3330

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    Cited by:

    1. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2010. "Political intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 628-637, October.
    2. Bossi, Luca, 2008. "Intergenerational risk shifting through social security and bailout politics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 2240-2268, July.

    More about this item


    fully funded; moral hazard; political bailout;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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