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Optimal taxes and pensions with myopic agents

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  • Roeder, Kerstin

Abstract

So far the economic literature has concentrated on analyzing the income tax and pension scheme in isolation. The present paper asks how both transfer schemes should be optimally designed in a society where individuals differ in productivity and rationality. Rational agents (if not liquidity constrained) smooth consumption over lifetime while myopic agents suffer from self-control problems and overconsume in young age, even though, ex post they regret their earlier decisions. The government’s aim is twofold. On the one hand, it wants to redistribute income from high- to low-productivity agents. On the other hand, it aims to secure old-age consumption possibilities for myopic agents. Analytical and numerical results show that, redistribution of the income tax scheme is increasing in society’s prevalence of self-control problems while it is decreasing in the pension scheme. The two transfer schemes are perfect substitutes when individuals do not suffer from self-control problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Roeder, Kerstin, 2013. "Optimal taxes and pensions with myopic agents," Munich Reprints in Economics 19747, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19747
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    Cited by:

    1. Constantin Anghelache & Alexandru MANOLE & Marius POPOVICI & Emilia STANCIU, 2016. "Statistical analysis of the pensioners condition," Romanian Statistical Review Supplement, Romanian Statistical Review, vol. 64(12), pages 180-186, December.
    2. Itzik Fadlon & Jessica Laird & Torben Heien Nielsen, 2016. "Do Employer Pension Contributions Reflect Employee Preferences? Evidence from a Retirement Savings Reform in Denmark," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 196-216, July.

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