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Intergenerational Contracts and Time Consistency: Implications for Policy Settings and Governance in the Social Welfare System

  • Lewis Evans
  • Neil Quigley

    ()

    (The Treasury)

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    In this paper we explore the question of the sustainability of the intergenerational contract that is represented by the current structure of social welfare. We argue that sustainability and time consistency of social welfare policies could be improved by more explicit recognition of the social welfare system as a relational contract that should be reinterpreted in the light of changes in technology, changes in our understanding of the incentive effects of different approaches to social welfare provision, and changes in society as a whole. We suggest that too much of our social welfare policy is based on approaches developed under the social and economic conditions and technology of the past, and that this is a key source of the potential challenge to the sustainability of current policies.

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    File URL: http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2013/13-25/twp13-25.pdf
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    Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 13/25.

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    Length: 34
    Date of creation: Dec 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:13/25
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    Web page: http://www.treasury.govt.nz

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    1. Feldstein, Martin, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," Scholarly Articles 2794830, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Dahlberg, Matz & Edmark, Karin & Lundqvist, Heléne, 2011. "Ethnic Diversity and Preferences for Redistribution," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2011:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. Übelmesser, Silke & Borck, Rainald & Wimbersky, Martin, 2013. "The Political Economics of Higher Education Finance for Mobile Individuals," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79717, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Seater, John J, 1993. "Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 142-90, March.
    5. Barro, Robert J., 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Scholarly Articles 3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Iván Werning, 2007. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 925-967, 08.
    7. Lewis Evans & Arthur Grimes & Bryce Wilkinson, 1996. "Economic Reform in New Zealand 1984-95: The Pursuit of Efficiency," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1856-1902, December.
    8. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2006. "Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000249, David K. Levine.
    9. Lewis Evans & Graeme Guthrie, 2012. "Price-cap regulation and the scale and timing of investment," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(3), pages 537-561, 09.
    10. Gabrielle Demange & Robert Fenge & Silke Uebelmesser, 2014. "Financing Higher Education in a Mobile World," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(3), pages 343-371, 06.
    11. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "The Family and the State," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-18, April.
    12. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
    13. Scott, Robert E, 1990. "A Relational Theory of Default Rules for Commercial Contracts," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 597-616, June.
    14. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 33-55, Spring.
    15. Andrew Coleman, 2012. "Pension Payments and Receipts by New Zealand Birth Cohorts, 1916–1986," Working Papers 12_11, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    16. 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.
    17. Lewis Evans & Graeme Guthrie & Neil Quigley, 2012. "Contemporary Microeconomic Foundations for the Structure and Management of the Public Sector," Treasury Working Paper Series 12/01, New Zealand Treasury.
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