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Private versus Public Old-Age Security

  • Richard C. Barnett
  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Mikko Puhakka

We compare, head on, two intergenerational institutions, a family compact – a parent makes a transfer to her parent in anticipation of a possible future gift from her children – with a pay-as-you-go, social security system in a lifecycle model with endogenous fertility wherein children are valued both as consumption and investment goods. Our focus is strictly on the pension dimension of these competing institutions. We show that an optimally-chosen family compact and a social security system cannot co-exist. A strong-enough negative shock to middle-age incomes destroys family compacts. While such a setting might appear ideal for the introduction of a social security system – as the experience of Europe, circa 1880s, would suggest – this turns out not to be the case: if incomes are too depressed to allow family compacts to flourish, they are also too low to permit introduction of an optimal social security system.

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File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_17/C017_043.pdf
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Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c017_043.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c017_043
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  1. Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1996. "Social security in a non-altruistic model with uncertainty and endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 283-294, May.
  2. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2012. "When the State Mirrors the Family: The Design of Pension Systems," CEPRA working paper 1201, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
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  9. Nishimura, Kazuo & Zhang, Junsen, 1992. "Pay-as-you-go public pensions with endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 239-258, July.
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  11. Cigno, Alessandro, 2005. "A Constitutional Theory of the Family," IZA Discussion Papers 1797, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Fenge, Robert & Meier, Volker, 2005. "Pensions and Fertility Incentives," Munich Reprints in Economics 20343, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Luisa Fuster & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu, 2007. "Elimination of Social Security in a Dynastic Framework," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 113-145.
  14. Alessandro Cigno, 2003. "The Political Economy of Intergenerational Cooperation," CHILD Working Papers wp05_03, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
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  17. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Optimal social security in a dynastic model with investment externalities and endogenous fertility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 3545-3567, November.
  18. Luisa Fuster & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2003. "A welfare analysis of social security in a dynastic framework," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1247-1274, November.
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  24. Mulligan Casey B & Sala-i-Martin Xavier, 2004. "Political and Economic Forces Sustaining Social Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-56, May.
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