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The Future of Social Security

  • Gonzalez-Eiras, Martin
  • Niepelt, Dirk

We analyze the effect of the projected demographic transition on the political support for social security, and equilibrium outcomes. Embedding a probabilistic-voting setup of electoral competition in the Diamond (1965) OLG model, we find that intergenerational transfers arise in the absence of altruism, commitment, or trigger strategies. Closed-form solutions predict population ageing to lead to higher social security tax rates, a rising share of pensions in GDP, but eventually lower social security benefits per retiree. The response of equilibrium tax rates to demographic shocks reduces old-age consumption risk. Calibrated to match features of the U.S. economy, the model suggests that, in response to the projected demographic transition, social security tax rates will gradually increase to 16 percent; other policies that distort labour supply will become less important; and in contrast with frequently voiced fears, labour supply therefore will rise.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6245.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6245
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  1. Peter A. Diamond & Peter R. Orszag, 2005. "Saving Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 11-32, Spring.
  2. Michele Boldrin & Mariacristina De Nardi & Larry E. Jones, 2005. "Fertility and Social Security," Staff Report 359, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  7. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim & Swagel, Phill, 2001. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2930, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Gonzales-Eiras, Martín & Niepelt, Dirk, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Seminar Papers 731, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  17. Martin Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2007. "The Future of Social Security," Working Papers 07.02, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  18. Mulligan Casey B & Sala-i-Martin Xavier, 2004. "Internationally Common Features of Public Old-Age Pensions, and Their Implications for Models of the Public Sector," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-37, May.
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  27. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
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