IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedlwp/2007-035.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal fiscal policy in the design of Social Security reforms

Author

Listed:
  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Carlos Garriga

Abstract

The quantitative macroeconomics literature has documented that in the basic Overlapping Generations model a privatization of the social security system, going from a Pay-As-You-Go to a Fully Funded system, generates large long run welfare gains at the cost of substantial welfare losses for initial generations. We propose an alternative to previous literature. In this paper we maximize over the entire policy space, following the optimal fiscal policy approach, rather than comparing alternative policy paths one to one. That is, policies are chosen as part of the optimal design of a social security privatization in a Pareto improving way. The government decides endogenously how to finance the implicit social security liabilities and compensate the initial generations alive during the transition. In contrast with previous analysis the resulting allocation, by construction, lies on the constrained Pareto frontier. We find that the optimal design of reforms exhibits sizeable welfare gains, arising because of the reduction in labor supply distortions. In contrast, the welfare gains coming from the reduction of savings distortions are relatively small.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-035
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2007/2007-035.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
    2. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
    3. Michele Boldrin & Ana Montes, 2005. "The Intergenerational State Education and Pensions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 651-664.
    4. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Would Privatizing Social Security Raise Economic Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 5281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
    6. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
    7. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 640-647.
    8. 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.
    9. Martin Feldstein, 1985. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 303-320.
    10. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1999. "Privatizing Social Security in the U.S. -- Comparing the Options," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 532-574, July.
    11. Carlos Garriga, 2019. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Public Finance Review, , vol. 47(1), pages 3-31, January.
    12. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2006. "Pareto-Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets are Incomplete!?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 737-755, June.
    13. Juan Carlos Conesa & Sagiri Kitao & Dirk Krueger, 2009. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea after All!," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 25-48, March.
    14. Samuelson, Paul A, 1975. "Optimum Social Security in a Life-Cycle Growth Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(3), pages 539-544, October.
    15. repec:cup:macdyn:v:7:y:2003:i:5:p:691-710_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Garriga, Carlos, 2003. "Status Quo Problem In Social Security Reforms," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 691-710, November.
    17. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1998. "The Transition Path in Privatizing Social Security," NBER Chapters, in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 215-264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. 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.
    19. Lorenzo Forni, 2005. "Social Security as Markov Equilibrium in OLG Models," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 178-194, January.
    20. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal policy; Social security;

    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:fip:fedlwp:2007-035. 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: (Anna Oates). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbslus.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.