Assessing the Applicability of Hypothetical Workers for Defined-Contribution Pensions
An understanding of the financial and distributional consequences of Social Security reform requires knowledge about the actual life circumstances of participants, including the level and pattern of their lifetime earnings and when they retire. Some analyses of Social Security reform make simplifying assumptions about these characteristics by using “hypothetical workers” with set career paths. We seek to develop greater understanding about actual lifetime earnings patterns to compare with hypothetical workers and find discrepancies which lead typical hypothetical workers to produce a more favorable impression for defined-contribution pension reforms. We suggest modifications to make a more suitable hypothetical worker.
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- Steven Caldwell & Melissa Favreault & Alla Gantman & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Thomas Johnson & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1999.
"Social Security's Treatment of Postwar Americans,"
NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 13, pages 109-148
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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