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The Social Security Trust Fund, the Riskless Interest Rate, and Capital Accumulation

  • Andrew B. Abel

This paper develops a tractable stochastic overlapping generations model to analyze the equilibrium equity premium and growth rate of the capital stock in the presence of a defined-benefit Social Security system. If the Social Security Trust Fund increases the share of its portfolio held in risky capital, the equilibrium equity premium falls in the following period and along a constant growth path. This change in the portfolio of the Social Security Trust Fund will increase the growth rate of capital in the following period, and, if a certain sufficient condition is satisfied, will increase the growth rate of the capital stock along a constant growth path. Calibration of the model indicates that it can match the historical average equity premium and the historical average growth rate of the capital stock using plausible values of the preference parameters. In addition, the sufficient condition for the growth rate of the capital stock to increase along a constant growth path is satisfied. Quantitatively, the effects on the riskless interest rate and the growth rate of capital are small.

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Paper provided by Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research in its series Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers with number 3-99.

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Handle: RePEc:fth:pennfi:3-99
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  1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  2. Bohn, Henning, 1998. "Risk Sharing in a Stochastic Overlapping Generations Economy," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt9r2809f0, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  3. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  4. Henning Bohn, 1999. "Online Appendix to Should the Social Security Trust Fund hold Equities? An Intergenerational Welfare Analysis," Technical Appendices bohn99, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  5. Weil, Philippe, 1990. "Nonexpected Utility in Macroeconomics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 29-42, February.
  6. repec:fth:calaec:4-98 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, November.
    • Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1, November.
  8. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  9. Jermann, Urban J., 1999. "Social security and institutions for intergenerational, intragenerational, and international risk-sharing : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 205-212, June.
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