IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Junior Must Pay: Pricing the Implicit Put in Privatizing Social Security

  • George M. Constantinides
  • John B. Donaldson
  • Rajnish Mehra

Proposals that portion of the Social Security Trust Fund assets be invested in equities entail the possibility that a severe decline in equity prices renders the Fund assets insufficient to provide the currently mandated level of benefits. In this event, existing taxpayers may be compelled to act as insurers of last resort. The cost to taxpayers of such an implicit commitment equals the value of a put option with payoff equal to the benefit's shortfall. We calibrate an OLG model that generates realistic equity premia and value the put. With 20 percent of the Fund assets invested in equities, the highest level currently under serious discussion, we value a put that guarantees the currently mandated level of benefits at one percent of GDP, or a temporary increase in Social Security taxation of at most 25 percent. We value a put that guarantees 90 percent of benefits at merely .03 percent of GDP. In contrast to earlier literature, our results account for the significant changes in the distribution of security returns resulting from Trust Fund purchases. We also explore the inter-generational welfare implications of the guarantee.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8906.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8906.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Constantinides, G. M., J. B. Donaldson and R. Mehra. "Junior Must Pay: Pricing The Implicit Put In Privatizing Social Security," Annals of Finance, 2005, v1(1,Jan), 1-34.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8906
Note: AG AP PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


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.:

as in new window
  1. John Y. Campbell & Martin Feldstein, 2001. "Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number camp01-1.
  2. Henning Bohn, 1997. "Social Security reform and financial markets," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 41(Jun), pages 193-227.
  3. Henning Bohn, 1999. "Online Appendix to Should the Social Security Trust Fund hold Equities? An Intergenerational Welfare Analysis," Technical Appendices bohn99, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  4. Andrew B. Abel, 2002. "The Effects of a Baby Boom on Stock Prices and Capital Accumulation in the Presence of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 9210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  6. Mitchell, Olivia S & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1996. "Social Security Privatization: A Structure for Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 363-67, May.
  7. Andrew B. Abel, 2000. "The Effects of Investing Social Security Funds in the Stock Market When Fixed Costs Prevent Some Households from Holding Stocks," NBER Working Papers 7739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. repec:fth:calaec:4-98 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Martin Feldstein & Elena Ranguelova & Andrew Samwick, 1999. "The Transition to Investment-Based Social Security when Portfolio Returns and Capital Profitability are Uncertain," NBER Working Papers 7016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Rajnish Mehra & Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "The Equity Premium in Retrospect," NBER Working Papers 9525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Rajnish Mehra, 2003. "The Equity Premium: Why is it a Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 9512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Mehra, Rajnish, 1988. "On the Existence and Representation of Equilibrium in an Economy with Growth and Nonstationary Consumption," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 29(1), pages 131-35, February.
  13. George M. Constantinides & John B. Donaldson & Rajnish Mehra, 2002. "Junior Can'T Borrow: A New Perspective On The Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 269-296, February.
  14. John Y. Campbell & Joao F. Cocco & Francisco J. Gomes & Pascal J. Maenhout, 1999. "Investing Retirement Wealth: A Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 7029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kent Smetters, 2001. "The Effect of Pay-When-Needed Benefit Guarantees on the Impact of Social Security Privatization," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 91-112 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Working Papers 6055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1991. "The consumption of stockholders and nonstockholders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 97-112, March.
  18. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Smetters, Kent A & Walliser, Jan, 1998. "Social Security: Privatization and Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 137-41, May.
  19. Ellen R. McGrattan & Edward C. Prescott, 2001. "Is the Stock Market Overvalued?," NBER Working Papers 8077, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Bohn, Henning, 1998. "Risk Sharing in a Stochastic Overlapping Generations Economy," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt9r2809f0, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8906. 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: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.