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Aggregate implications of defined benefit and defined contribution systems

  • Francisco Gomes
  • Alexander Michaelides
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    We use a general equilibrium life-cycle model with incomplete markets and heterogeneous agents to evaluate the macroeconomic and welfare implications of Defined Benefit (DB) versus Defined Contribution (DC) systems, and to investigate the effects of incremental reform within a particular system. Extensive calibrations illustrate the trade-off between efficiency and redistribution that a tax-financed, DB social security system generates. We find that social welfare is maximized for small but positive levels of DB because of the redistributive value associated with these systems. On the other hand, steady-state within- DC system comparisons reveal that a zero DC tax rate maximizes social welfare.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/24868/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 24868.

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    Length: 49 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:24868
    Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2002. "The Importance of Bequests and Life-Cycle Saving in Capital Accumulation: A New Answer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 274-278, May.
    2. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
    3. Aiyagari, S Rao, 1995. "Optimal Capital Income Taxation with Incomplete Markets, Borrowing Constraints, and Constant Discounting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1158-75, December.
    4. Henning Bohn, 2001. "Social Security and Demographic Uncertainty: The Risk-Sharing Properties of Alternative Policies," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 203-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
    6. John Laitner, 2001. "Wealth Accumulation in the U.S.: Do Inheritances and Bequests Play a Significant Role?," Working Papers wp019, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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