IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/dlw/wpaper/11-14..html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Security: Universal vs. Earnings-Dependent Benefits

Author

Listed:
  • Jorge Soares

    () (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)

Abstract

I compare the welfare implications of implementing Bismarckian and Beveridgean social security systems. In an overlapping generations environment with intragenerational homogeneity, agents can be better off with a system with universal benefits than with a comparable system with earnings-dependent benefits because the latter generates a stronger decrease in net wages. Once I allow for intragenerational skill heterogeneity, agents are on average better off with the more redistributive universal benefits system. I then let agents vote for the replacement rates in a democratic process. In the absence of intragenerational heterogeneity, a larger social security system is implemented when benefits are earnings-dependent than when they are universal resulting in a larger decrease in net wages; this makes young agents worse o¤ with earnings-dependent benefits. In the presence of intragenerational skill heterogeneity, the reverse occurs and agents fare on average better in the long-run when benefits are earnings-dependent. However, because of its redistributional effects, agents born at the time of implementation are on average better o¤ with an universal benefits system.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Soares, 2011. "Social Security: Universal vs. Earnings-Dependent Benefits," Working Papers 11-14, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:11-14.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://graduate.lerner.udel.edu/sites/default/files/ECON/PDFs/RePEc/dlw/WorkingPapers/2011/UDWP2011-14.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Marko Koethenbuerger & Panu Poutvaara & Paola Profeta, 2008. "Why are more redistributive social security systems smaller? A median voter approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 275-292, April.
    2. David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
    3. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. " The Political Economy of Social Security," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 503-522, June.
    4. Thomas F. Cooley & Jorge Soares, 1999. "A Positive Theory of Social Security Based on Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(1), pages 135-160, February.
    5. Boadway, Robin W & Wildasin, David E, 1989. "A Median Voter Model of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 307-328, May.
    6. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Paola Profeta, 2007. "The Redistributive Design of Social Security Systems," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 686-712, April.
    7. Zhang, Jie & Zhang, Junsen, 2003. "Long-run effects of unfunded social security with earnings-dependent benefits," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 617-641, December.
    8. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-364, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social security; universal benefits; earnings-dependent benefits; Bismarckian social security system; Beveridgean social security system; voting; welfare.;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dlw:wpaper:11-14.. 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: (Saul Hoffman). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deudeus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.