The Life-Cycle Personal Accounts Proposal for Social Security: An Evaluation
The life-cycle accounts proposal for Social Security reform has been justified by its proponents using a number of different arguments, but these arguments generally involve the assumption of a high likelihood of good returns on the accounts. A simulation is undertaken to estimate the probability distribution of returns in the accounts based on long-term historical experience. U.S. stock market, bond market and money market data 1871-2004 are used for the analysis. Assuming that future returns behave like historical data, it is found that a baseline personal account portfolio after offset will be negative 32% of the time on the retirement date. The median internal rate of return in this case is 3.4 percent, just above the amount necessary for holders of the accounts to break even. However, the U.S. stock market has been unusually successful historically by world standards. It would be better if we adjust the historical data to reduce the assumed average stock market return for the simulation. When this is done so that the return matches the median stock market return of 15 countries 1900-2000 as reported by Dimson et al. , the baseline personal account is found to be negative 71% of the time on the date of retirement and the median internal rate of return is 2.6 percent.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Journal of Policy Modelling (2006), 28: 427-444|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (203) 432-3702
Fax: (203) 432-6167
Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Merton, Robert C, 1973. "An Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(5), pages 867-87, September.
- Geanakoplos, J. & Mitchell, O.S. & Zeldes, S.P., 1998.
"Social Security Money's Worth,"
98-05, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
- John Geanakoplos & Olivia S. Mitchell & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Social Security Money's Worth," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-9, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
- John Geanakoplos & Olivia S. Mitchell & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2000. "Social Security Money's Worth," NBER Working Papers 6722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John Geanakoplos & Olivia S. Mitchell & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1998. "Social Security Money's Worth," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-27, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- John Geanakoplos & Olivia S. Mitchell & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1998. "Social Security Money's Worth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1193, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- John Geanakoplos & Olivia S. Mitchell & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Social Security Money's Worth," Pension Research Council Working Papers 97-20, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
- Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
- Anthony W. Lynch & Sinan Tan, 2004. "Labor Income Dynamics at Business-Cycle Frequencies: Implications for Portfolio Choice," NBER Working Papers 11010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kjetil Storesletten & Chris I. Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2004. "Cyclical Dynamics in Idiosyncratic Labor Market Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 695-717, June.
- Bodie, Zvi & Merton, Robert C. & Samuelson, William F., 1992.
"Labor supply flexibility and portfolio choice in a life cycle model,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 16(3-4), pages 427-449.
- Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Athanasoulis, Stefano G. & van Wincoop, Eric, 2000.
"Growth uncertainty and risksharing,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 477-505, June.
- Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, March.
- Bottazzi, Laura & Pesenti, Paolo & van Wincoop, Eric, 1996. "Wages, profits and the international portfolio puzzle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 219-254, February.
- Martin Feldstein, 2005.
"Rethinking Social Insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
11250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Luis M. Viceira, 2001.
"Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 433-470, 04.
- Luis M. Viceira, 1999. "Optimal Portfolio Choice for Long-Horizon Investors with Nontradable Labor Income," NBER Working Papers 7409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Philippe Jorion & William N. Goetzmann, 1999. "Global Stock Markets in the Twentieth Century," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(3), pages 953-980, 06.
- Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 1997. "Market Frictions, Savings Behavior, And Portfolio Choice," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 76-101, January.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1504. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Glena Ames)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.