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Social Security And Economic Performance In Portugal: After All That Has Been Said And Done How Much Has Actually Changed?

  • Alfredo M. Pereira


    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Jorge M. Andraz


    (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Algarve)

This paper provides an empirical estimate of the macroeconomic effects of the Portuguese payas- you-go social security system based on data for the period 1970-2007 and on VAR estimates using GDP, the unit cost of labor, the unemployment rate, the savings rate and social security spending. The major findings are twofold. First, growing social security spending has had detrimental effects on all of the private sector variables under consideration suggesting the existence of sizable inefficiencies. Second, these inefficiencies persist despite the successive reforms that took place over the last two decades. As a corollary, these results highlight the need for structural reforms of the pay-as-you-go system thereby addressing the sources of inefficiencies in addition to dealing with its chronic sustainability problems.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 81.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 28 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:81
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  1. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
  2. Alfredo M. Pereira & Jorge M. Andraz, 2005. "Public Investment in Transportation Infrastructure and Economic Performance in Portugal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 177-196, 05.
  3. António Afonso & Juan González Alegre, 2007. "Economic Growth and Budgetary Components: a Panel Assessment for the EU," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/29, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 1994. "The effects of monetary policy shocks: evidence from the Flow of Funds," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, 2009. "Labor supply effects of the recent social security benefit cuts: Empirical estimates using cohort discontinuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1224-1233, December.
  6. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 907-31, November.
  7. Marimon, Ramon & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1998. "Unemployment vs. Mismatch of Talents: Reconsidering Unemployment Benefits," Seminar Papers 661, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  8. Juan Carlos Conesa & Carlos Garriga, 2007. "Optimal fiscal policy in the design of Social Security reforms," Working Papers 2007-035, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Gonzalo, Jesus & Lee, Tae-Hwy, 1998. "Pitfalls in testing for long run relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 129-154, June.
  10. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1994. "Error Bands for Impulse Responses," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1085, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Evans, Paul, 2001. "Consumer Behavior in the United States: Implications for Social Security Reform," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 568-82, October.
  12. Benos, Nikos, 2009. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: empirical evidence from EU countries," MPRA Paper 19174, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Feldstein, Martin, 1996. "Social Security and Saving: New Time Series Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(2), pages 151-64, June.
  14. André Silva, 2008. "Taxes and labor supply: Portugal, Europe, and the United States," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 101-124, August.
  15. Bosworth, Barry & Burtless, Gary, 2004. "Pension Reform and Saving," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(3), pages 703-27, September.
  16. Barry P. Bosworth & Gary Burtless, 2004. "Supply-Side Consequences of Social Security Reform: Impacts on Saving and Employment," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2004-1, Center for Retirement Research, revised Jan 2004.
  17. Coronado Julia Lynn, 2002. "The Effects of Social Security Privatization on Household Saving: Evidence from Chile," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, August.
  18. Lutz Kilian, 1998. "Small-Sample Confidence Intervals For Impulse Response Functions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 218-230, May.
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  21. repec:cor:louvrp:-2199 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Emanuele Baldacci & Ding Ding & David Coady & Giovanni Callegari & Pietro Tommasino & Jaejoon Woo & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2010. "Public Expenditures on Social Programs and Household Consumption in China," IMF Working Papers 10/69, International Monetary Fund.
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