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Is the Social Security Crisis Really as Bad as We Think?

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  • Bagchi, Shantanu

Abstract

Because they ignore the household-level and macroeconomic adjustments associated with longevity improvements, the actuarial projections of the Social Security Administration overestimate the Social Security crisis. Using a general-equilibrium model with heterogeneous agents and incomplete markets, I show that accounting for these adjustments, a significantly smaller decline in benefits is needed to balance the Social Security budget. Households respond to the longevity improvements by delaying retirement and Social Security benefit collection, working more hours, and by also saving more. In general equilibrium, these effects lead to a natural expansion of Social Security's tax base and generate significant delayed retirement credits, which the actuarial estimates completely overlook.

Suggested Citation

  • Bagchi, Shantanu, 2013. "Is the Social Security Crisis Really as Bad as We Think?," MPRA Paper 56294, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:56294
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bagchi Shantanu, 2017. "Can removing the tax cap save Social Security?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 17(2), pages 1-28, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Cipriani, Giam Pietro, 2016. "Aging, Retirement and Pay-As-You-Go Pensions," IZA Discussion Papers 9969, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Security; longevity improvement; general equilibrium; delayed retirement; delayed retirement credit;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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