Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?
While privatizing Social Security can improve labor supply incentives, it can also reduce risk sharing when households face uninsurable risks. We simulate a stylized 50-percent privatization using an overlapping-generations model where heterogeneous agents with elastic labor supply face idiosyncratic earnings shocks and longevity uncertainty. When wage shocks are insurable, privatization produces about $21,900 of new resources for each future household (growth adjusted over time) after all households have been fully compensated for their possible transitional losses. However, when wages are not insurable, privatization reduces efficiency by about $5,600 per future household despite improved labor supply incentives. We check the robustness of these results to different model specifications and arrive at several surprising conclusions. First, privatization actually performs relatively better in a closed economy, where interest rates decline with capital accumulation, than in an open economy where capital can be accumulated without reducing interest rates. Second, privatization also performs relatively better when an actuarially-fair private annuity market does not exist than when it does exist. Third, introducing progressivity into the privatized system to restore risk sharing must be done carefully. In particular, having the government match private contributions on a progressive basis is not very effective at restoring risk-sharing—too much matching actually harms efficiency. However, increasing the progressivity of the remaining traditional system is very effective at restoring risk sharing, thereby allowing partial privatization to produce efficiency gains of $2,700 per future household.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (734) 615-0422
Fax: (734) 647-4575
Web page: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/papers/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert J. Shiller, 1998.
"Social Security and Institutions for Intergenerational, Intragenerational and International Risk Sharing,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1185, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Shiller, Robert J., 1999. "Social security and institutions for intergenerational, intragenerational, and international risk-sharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 165-204, June.
- Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Social Security and Institutions for Intergenerational, Intragenerational, and International Risk Sharing," JCPR Working Papers 43, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Robert J. Shiller, 1998. "Social Security and Institutions for Intergenerational, Intragenerational, and International Risk Sharing," NBER Working Papers 6641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Shinichi Nishiyama, 2004. "Analyzing an Aging Population," 2004 Meeting Papers 175, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2000.
"How Effective is Redistribution Under the Social Security Benefit Formula?,"
wp005, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
- Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2001. "How effective is redistribution under the social security benefit formula?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-28, October.
- Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2000. "How Effective is Redistribution Under the Social Security Benefit Formula?," NBER Working Papers 7597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Martin Floden & Jesper Lindé, 2001.
"Idiosyncratic Risk in the United States and Sweden: Is There a Role for Government Insurance?,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(2), pages 406-437, July.
- Floden, M. & Linde, J., 1998. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the U.S. and Sweden: Is there a Role for Government Insurance?," Papers 654, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Flodén, Martin & Linde, Jesper, 1998. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the U.S. and Sweden: Is there a Role for Government Insurance?," Seminar Papers 654, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- David Altig, 2001. "Simulating Fundamental Tax Reform in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 574-595, June.
- Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
- Mariger, Randall P., 1999. "Social Security Privatization: What Are the Issues?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 783-802, December.
- Shone,Ronald, 2002. "Economic Dynamics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521017039.
- Mariacristina De Nardi & Selahattin Imrohoroglu & Thomas J. Sargent, 1999.
"Projected U.S. Demographics and Social Security,"
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 575-615, July.
- Shinichi Nishiyama, 2002. "Bequests, Inter Vivos Transfers, and Wealth Distribution," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 892-931, October.
- Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
- Shinichi Nishiyama, 2004. "Analyzing an Aging Population---A Dynamic General Equilibrium Approach---," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-266, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
- Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
- Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Consumption Taxes and Economic Efficiency with Idiosyncratic Wage Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1088-1115, October.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1998. "Perspectives on the Social Security Crisis and Proposed Solutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 142-50, May.
- Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Would Privatizing Social Security Raise Economic Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 5281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp106. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (MRRC Administrator)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.