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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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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
Date of revision:
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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  7. Carlos Garriga, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in Overlapping Generations Models," Working Papers in Economics 66, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  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. Gale, David, 1973. "Pure exchange equilibrium of dynamic economic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, February.
  10. 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.
  11. Karsten Jeske, 2003. "Pension systems and aggregate shocks," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 15-31.
  12. 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.
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