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Social Security and Saving: An Update

Author

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  • Sita Slavov
  • Devon Gorry
  • Aspen Gorry
  • Frank N. Caliendo

Abstract

Typical neoclassical life-cycle models predict that Social Security has a large and negative effect on private savings. We review this theoretical literature by constructing a model where individuals face uninsurable longevity risk and differ by wage earnings, while Social Security provides benefits as a life annuity with higher replacement rates for the poor. We use the model to generate numerical examples that confirm the standard result. Using several benefit and tax changes from the 1970s and 1980s as natural experiments, we investigate the empirical relationship between Social Security and private savings and find little to support the strong predictions from the theoretical model. We explore possible reasons for the divergence between theoretical predictions and empirical findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Sita Slavov & Devon Gorry & Aspen Gorry & Frank N. Caliendo, 2017. "Social Security and Saving: An Update," NBER Working Papers 23506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23506
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. José Luis Iparraguirre, 2020. "Economics and Ageing," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-030-29019-1, December.
    2. Eytan Sheshinski & Frank N. Caliendo, 2021. "Social Security and the increasing longevity gap," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 23(1), pages 29-52, February.
    3. Laura D. Quinby & Geoffrey Sanzenbacher, 2021. "Do Public Sector Workers Increase Their Outside Savings in Response to Pension Cuts?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 1023, Boston College Department of Economics.
    4. Erin Cottle Hunt & Frank N. Caliendo, 2020. "Social Security reform: three Rawlsian options," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(6), pages 1582-1607, December.
    5. Yue Li, 2018. "Economic Analysis Of Social Security Survivors Insurance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(4), pages 2043-2073, November.
    6. Erin Cottle Hunt & Frank N. Caliendo, 2022. "Social security and risk sharing: A survey of four decades of economic analysis," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 1591-1609, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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