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Quantifying the Inefficiency of the US Social Insurance System

How far is the US social insurance system from an efficient system? We answer this question within a model where agents receive idiosyncratic, labor-productivity shocks that are privately observed. When social security and income taxation comprise the social insurance system, the maximum possible efficiency gain is equivalent to a 10:5 percent increase in consumption. This occurs when labor productivity diferences are set to the permanent diferences estimated in US data.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~05-05-16.

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Date of creation: 16 May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~05-05-16
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  14. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  15. Mikhail Golosov & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2004. "Designing Optimal Disability Insurance: A Case for Asset Testing," NBER Working Papers 10792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris I. & Yaron, Amir, 1999. "The risk-sharing implications of alternative social security arrangements," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 213-259, June.
  17. Mirrlees, J. A., 1995. "Private risk and public action: The economics of the welfare state," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 383-397, April.
  18. Fernandes, Ana & Phelan, Christopher, 2000. "A Recursive Formulation for Repeated Agency with History Dependence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 223-247, April.
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