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The Single-Mindedness Theory: Micro-foundation and Applications to Social Security Systems

  • canegrati, emanuele

The central purpose of this paper is to introduce a new political economy approach which explains the characteristics of Social Security Systems. This approach is based on the Single-Mindedness Theory (SMT), which assumes that the more single-minded groups are able to exert a greater power of influence on Governments and eventually obtain what they ask. Governments are seen as voting-maximizer policy-makers, whose unique goal is winning elections. Using an OLG model and a probabilistic voting approach, I analyse a society divided into two groups, the old and the young, which only dier for their preferences for leisure. I show that, to win elections, the Government sets the marginal tax rates taking into account the numerosity and the density of groups; eventually, the old receive a positive transfer, whose burden is entirely borne by the young. Furthermore, the more singleminded group (the old) is taxed with higher tax rates; this result can be explained by the necessity that the old have to find a way out to solve a free-riding problem amongst its members. Indeed, higher tax rates induce the old to retire earlier, so that retirees may have more time to participate in political activities and support the old group’s goals.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1223.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1223
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  1. Robert Fenge & Pierre Pestieau, 2005. "Social Security and Early Retirement," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062496, June.
  2. Paola Profeta, 2002. "Retirement and Social Security in a Probabilistic Voting Model," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 331-348, August.
  3. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (II): Efficiency Theories, Narrative Theories, and Implications for Reform," NBER Working Papers 7119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521233293 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher Pissarides, 2008. "Trends in hours and economic growth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3828, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Gerontocracy, Retirement, and Social Security," NBER Working Papers 7117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521027922 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Jeremy Greenwood & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2005. "Hours Worked (Long-Run Trends)," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 10, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  9. Douglas A. Hershey & K�ne Henkens & Hendrik P. van Dalen, 2006. "Mapping the Minds of Retirement Planners," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-038/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hinich, M., 1976. "Equilibrium in Spatial Voting: The Median Voter Result is an Artifact," Working Papers 119, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  12. Douglas A. Hershey & K�ne Henkens & Hendrik P. van Dalen, 2006. "Mapping the Minds of Retirement Planners," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-038/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. Peter Diamond, 2005. "Pensions for an Aging Population," NBER Working Papers 11877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Social Security, Retirement, and the Single-Mindedness of the Electorate," NBER Working Papers 9691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Stafford, Frank & Duncan, Greg J., 1979. "The Use of Time and Technology by Households in the United States," Working Paper Series 21, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  16. Koskela, Erkki & Schöb, Ronnie, 2001. "Optimal Factor Income Taxation in the Presence of Unemployment," Discussion Papers 758, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  17. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
  18. David Dorn & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2005. "The Determinants of Early Retirement in Switzerland," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(II), pages 247-283, June.
  19. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, August.
  20. Dora L. Costa, 1997. "Less of a Luxury: The Rise of Recreation since 1888," NBER Working Papers 6054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 6097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1999. "Social Security in Theory and Practice (I): Facts and Political Theories," NBER Working Papers 7118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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