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Mitigating Demographic Risk Through Social Insurance

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  • Jerry R. Green

Abstract

A two-period lifetime overlapping generations growth model is used to evaluate the possibility that social insurance can effectively offset economic risks associated with uncertainty about the rate of population growth. Crude measures of the seriousness of this type of risk in the current United States situation are presented. Sufficient conditions on the structure of the economy for such intergenerational risk pooling to be mutually beneficial to all members of society are derived. Although it is logically possible to satisfy them1 we argue that they are unlikely to be realized empirically in an economy similar to that of the United States. Because of this failure, some more complex types of policy options are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Jerry R. Green, 1977. "Mitigating Demographic Risk Through Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 0215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0215
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
    2. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    3. Michael J. Boskin, 1976. "Taxation, Saving and the Rate of Interest," NBER Working Papers 0135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Feldstein, Martin S, 1976. "Perceived Wealth in Bonds and Social Security: A Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 331-336, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Rangel & Richard Zeckhauser, 2001. "Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 113-152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Wolfgang Kuhle, 2014. "The Optimal Structure for Public Debt," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 321-348, May.
    3. Robert C. Merton, 1981. "On the Role of Social Security as a Means for Efficient Risk-Bearing in an Economy Where Human Capital Is Not Tradeable," NBER Working Papers 0743, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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