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Optimal response to a transitory demographic shock in Social Security financing

  • Juan Carlos Conesa
  • Carlos Garriga

We examine the optimal policy response to a transitory demographic shock that affects negatively the financing of retirement pensions. In contrast to existing literature, we endogenously determine optimal policies rather than exploring implications of exogenous parametric policies. Our approach identifies optimal strategies of the social security administration to guarantee the financial sustainability of existing retirement pensions in a Pareto improving way. Hence, no cohort will pay the cost of the demographic shock. We find that the optimal strategy is based in the following ingredients: elimination of compulsory retirement, a change in the structure of labor income taxation and a temporary increase in the level of government debt.

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File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2007/2007-041.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2007-041.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Publication status: Published in Pension Strategies in Europe and the United States, April 2008, pp. 87-116, MIT Press.
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-041
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  1. Enrique G. Mendoza & Assaf Razin & Linda L. Tesar, 1994. "Effective Tax Rates in Macroeconomics: Cross-Country Estimates of Tax Rates on Factor Incomes and Consumption," NBER Working Papers 4864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Erosa, Andres & Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 338-369, August.
  3. Boldrin, Michele & Montes, Ana, 2002. "The Intergenerational State: Education and Pensions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3275, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 1999. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1671-1745 Elsevier.
  7. Carlos Garriga-Calvet, 2000. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1772, Econometric Society.
  8. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  9. 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.
  10. Karsten Jeske, 2003. "Pension systems and aggregate shocks," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 15-31.
  11. Michele Boldrin & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Political Equilibria with Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 41-78, January.
  12. 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.
  13. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
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