IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Time inconsistent preferences and Social Security

Listed author(s):
  • Ayse Imrohoroglu
  • Selahattin Imrohoroglu
  • Douglas H. Joines

In this paper we examine the role of social security in an economy populated by overlapping generations of individuals with time-inconsistent preferences who face mortality risk, individual income risk, and borrowing constraints. Agents in this economy are heterogeneous with respect to age, employment status, retirement status, hours worked, and asset holdings. We consider two cases of time-inconsistent preferences. First, we model agents as quasi-hyperbolic discounters. They can be sophisticated and play a symmetric Nash game against their future selves; or they can be naive and believe that their future selves will exponentially discount. Second, we consider retrospective time inconsistency. We find that (1) there are substantial welfare costs to quasi-hyperbolic discounters of their time-inconsistent behavior, (2) social security is a poor substitute for a perfect commitment technology in maintaining old-age consumption, (3) there is little scope for social security in a world of quasi-hyperbolic discounters (with a short-term discount rate up to 15%), and, (4) the ex ante annual discount rate must be at least 10% greater than seems warranted ex post in order for a majority of individuals with retrospective time inconsistency to prefer a social security tax rate of 10% to no social security. Our findings question the effectiveness of unfunded social security in correcting for the undersaving resulting from time-inconsistent preferences.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/common/pub_detail.cfm?pb_autonum_id=824
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/DP/DP136.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 136.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2000
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:136
Contact details of provider: Postal:
90 Hennepin Avenue, P.O. Box 291, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0291

Phone: (612) 204-5000
Web page: http://minneapolisfed.org/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/pubs/ Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Per Krusell & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2003. "Consumption--Savings Decisions with Quasi--Geometric Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 365-375, January.
  2. Hugett, M. & Ventura, G., 1997. "On the Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9710, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia & Summers, Lawrence H, 1982. "The Adequacy of Savings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1056-1069, December.
  4. Imrohoroglu, S., 1997. "A Quantitative Analysis of Capital Income Taxation," Papers 1997/12, Koc University.
  5. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cooley, Thomas F. & Soares, Jorge, 1996. "Will social security survive the baby boom?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 89-121, December.
  7. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-788, September.
  8. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1994. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  10. Gordon, Roger H. & Varian, Hal R., 1988. "Intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 185-202, November.
  11. HUANG, HE & IMROHOROG[caron]LU, SELAHATTIN & SARGENT, THOMAS J., 1997. "Two Computations To Fund Social Security," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 7-44, January.
  12. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "The social discount rate," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 137, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, 01.
  14. Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Cyclical and Secular Behavior of the Labor Input : Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Papers 36, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  15. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  16. Peter A. Diamond, 1996. "Proposals to Restructure Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 67-88, Summer.
  17. David I. Laibson, 1996. "Hyperbolic Discount Functions, Undersaving, and Savings Policy," NBER Working Papers 5635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Skinner & Steven Weinberg, 2001. "What Accounts for the Variation in Retirement Wealth among U.S. Households?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 832-857, September.
  20. Martin S. Feldstein & Daniel R. Feenberg, 1983. "Alternative Tax Rules and Personal Saving Incentives: Microeconomic Data and Behavioral Simulations," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral Simulation Methods in Tax Policy Analysis, pages 173-210 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
  22. Imrohoroglu, Selahattin, 1999. "The risk-sharing implications of alternative social security arrangements : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 261-269, June.
  23. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  24. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
  25. Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999. "Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
  26. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1984. "Consumption during Retirement: The Missing Link in the Life Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 1-7, February.
  27. Peter Diamond, 1994. "Insulation of Pensions from Political Risk," NBER Working Papers 4895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 1998. "The risk sharing implications of alternative social security arrangements," GSIA Working Papers 252, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  29. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
  30. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark J. Warshawsky, 1990. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 135-154.
  31. Goldman, Steven Marc, 1979. "Intertemporally Inconsistent Preferences and the Rate of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 621-626, May.
  32. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
  33. Steven M. Goldman, 1980. "Consistent Plans," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(3), pages 533-537.
  34. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1985. "The Cost of Annuities: Implications for Saving Behavior and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Douglas H. Joines, 1999. "Social Security in an Overlapping Generations Economy with Land," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 638-665, July.
  36. Martin Feldstein, 1985. "The Optimal Level of Social Security Benefits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 303-320.
  37. Diamond, P. A., 1977. "A framework for social security analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 275-298, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmem:136. 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: (Janelle Ruswick)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.