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Why Are More Redistributive Social Security Systems Smaller? A Median Voter Approach

  • Koethenbuerger, Marko

    ()

    (CESifo)

  • Poutvaara, Panu

    ()

    (University of Munich)

  • Profeta, Paola

    ()

    (Bocconi University)

We suggest a political economy explanation for the stylized fact that intragenerationally more redistributive social security systems are smaller. We relate the stylized fact to an "efficiency-redistribution" trade-off to be resolved by political process. The inefficiency of social security financing is due to endogenous labor supply. Using data on eight European countries, we find that the stylized fact and a considerable degree of cross-country variation in contribution rates can be explained by the median voter model.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1831.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Economic Papers, 2008, 60 (2), 275-292
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1831
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  1. GALASSO, Vincenzo & PROFETA, Paola, 2003. "Lessons for an aging society: the political sustainability of social security systems," CORE Discussion Papers 2003077, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2003. "The Double Dividend of Postponing Retirement," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 419-34, August.
  3. Koethenbuerger, Marko & Poutvaara, Panu & Profeta, Paola, 2005. "Why Are More Redistributive Social Security Systems Smaller? A Median Voter Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 1831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-364, March.
  12. Svend E. Hougaard Jensen & Morten I. Lau & Panu Poutvaara, 2004. "Efficiency and Equity Aspects of Alternative Social Security Rules," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 325-, September.
  13. CASAMATTA, Georges & CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1999. "The political economy of social security," CORE Discussion Papers 1999055, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
  15. Georges Casamatta & Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 2001. "Demographic Shock and Social Security: A Political Economy Perspective," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 417-431, August.
  16. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-88, September.
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  18. Tabellini, Guido, 2000. " A Positive Theory of Social Security," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(3), pages 523-45, June.
  19. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  20. Alan B. Krueger & Bruce D. Meyer, 2002. "Labor Supply Effects of Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Richard Disney, 2004. "Are contributions to public pension programmes a tax on employment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 267-311, 07.
  22. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Reforming our pension system: is it a demographic, financial or political problem?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1468, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  23. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Paola Profeta, 2007. "The Redistributive Design of Social Security Systems," Working Papers 2007-07, FEDEA.
  24. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-77, September.
  25. 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.
  26. Mulligan Casey B & Sala-i-Martin Xavier, 2004. "Internationally Common Features of Public Old-Age Pensions, and Their Implications for Models of the Public Sector," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-37, May.
  27. 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.
  28. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Uebelmesser, Silke, 2003. "Pensions and the path to gerontocracy in Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 153-158, March.
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