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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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  12. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Uebelmesser, Silke, 2003. "Pensions and the path to gerontocracy in Germany," Munich Reprints in Economics 19563, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  18. Immervoll, Herwig & Kleven, Henrik Jacobsen & Kreiner, Claus Thustrup & Saez, Emmanuel, 2004. "Welfare reform in European countries: a micro-simulation analysis," EUROMOD Working Papers EM1/04, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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  20. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  21. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2004. "Lessons for an Aging Society: The Political Sustainability of Social Security Systems," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2004-7, Center for Retirement Research.
  22. Boadway, Robin W & Wildasin, David E, 1989. "A Median Voter Model of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 307-28, May.
  23. 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.
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  27. 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.
  28. 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.
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