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Social Security and Institutions for Intergenerational, Intragenerational and International Risk Sharing

Social security system old age insurance systems are devices for the sharing of income risks of elderly people with others. Risks can be shared intergenerationally (with the young of the same country), intragenerationally (with other elderly of the same country) or internationally (with foreigners). Barriers to individuals themselves sharing their risks intergenerationally, intragenerationally or internationally are described. Optimal design of government-sponsored social security systems is considered in light of these barriers. Alternative benefits and contributions formulas for pay-as-you-go social security systems are defined and compared with existing and proposed formulas in terms of their ability to fulfill the government's role in promoting risk sharing. Benefits for each retired person may be tied to that person's lifetime income without causing (as with the US benefits formula today) aggregate benefits for all elderly today to be tied to their past aggregate income.

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Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1185.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy (1999), 50: 165-204
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1185
Note: CFP 993.
Contact details of provider: Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
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Order Information: Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

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