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Planning for the Optimal Mix of Paygo Tax and Funded Savings


  • Georges de Menil
  • Eytan Sheshinski


The paper uses an overlapping generations model to analyse the problem of a benevolent planner determining the pay-as-you-go tax rate and the level of funded savings, in an economy where both are policy variables. We characterize the conditions under which it is desirable to have both a positive tax rate and a positive level of savings. The optimal size of the tax rate and of savings depend both on the stochastic characteristics of earnings growth and the return to savings, and on the shape of the utility function of the representative agent. Among the comparative statics results presented, the central one is that increasing the variability of earnings raises the desirability of a pay-as-you-go system, under general conditions. This is consistent with earlier analyses of pay-as-you-go as a provider of intergenerational insurance. A numerical example using the CARA utility and normal distributions illustrates the calculation of optimal tax and savings levels, using annual data for post-War France.

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  • Georges de Menil & Eytan Sheshinski, 2004. "Planning for the Optimal Mix of Paygo Tax and Funded Savings," DELTA Working Papers 2004-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  • Handle: RePEc:del:abcdef:2004-15

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    Cited by:

    1. Gottardi, Piero & Kubler, Felix, 2011. "Social security and risk sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1078-1106, May.
    2. Le Blanc, Julia & Scholl, Almuth, 2011. "Optimal savings for retirement: The role of individual accounts and disaster expectations," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2011,33, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Lans Bovenberg & Harald Uhlig, 2008. "Pension Systems and the Allocation of Macroeconomic Risk," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006, pages 241-344 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Corsini, Lorenzo & Spataro, Luca, 2013. "Savings for retirement under liquidity constraints: A note," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 258-261.
    5. Øystein Thøgersen, 2006. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing by Means of Pay-as-you-go Programs – an Investigation of Alternative Mechanisms," CESifo Working Paper Series 1759, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:146:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2010. "Political intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 628-637, October.
    8. Gollier, Christian, 2008. "Intergenerational risk-sharing and risk-taking of a pension fund," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1463-1485, June.
    9. Lorenzo Corsini & Luca Spataro, 2015. "Optimal Decisions on Pension Plans in the Presence of Information Costs and Financial Literacy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(3), pages 383-414, June.
    10. Markus Knell, 2010. "The Optimal Mix Between Funded and Unfunded Pension Systems When People Care About Relative Consumption," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(308), pages 710-733, October.
    11. De Menil, Georges & Murtin, Fabrice & Sheshinski, Eytan & Yokossi, Tite, 2016. "A rational, economic model of paygo tax rates," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 55-72.
    12. Debora Kusmerski Bilard, 2008. "Optimal Sharing of Labor Productivity Risks and Mix of Pay-As-You-Go and Savings," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-066/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 09 Aug 2012.
    13. Alonso-García, J. & Devolder, P., 2016. "Optimal mix between pay-as-you-go and funding for DC pension schemes in an overlapping generations model," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 224-236.
    14. Julia Le Blanc & Almuth Scholl, 2015. "Optimal Savings for Retirement: The Role of Individual Accounts," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2015-10, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    15. Knell, Markus, 2013. "The Intergenerational Distribution of Demographic Fluctuations in Unfunded and Funded Pension Systems," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79830, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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