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Optimal Redistributive Pensions with Temptation and Costly Self-Control

  • Pier-Andre Bouchard St-Amant

    ()

    (INET, Columbia and Queen's)

  • Jean-Denis Garon

    ()

    (UQAM)

We examine how the introduction of self-control preferences influences the trade-off between two fundamental components of a public pension system: the contribution rate and its degree of redistribution. The pension regime affects individuals' welfare by altering how yielding to temptation (i.e. not saving, or saving less) is attractive. We show that proportional taxation increases the cost of self-control, and that this adverse effect is more acute when public pensions become more redistributive. We examine how the introduction of self-control preferences influences the trade-off between two fundamental components of a public pension system: the contribution rate and its degree of redistribution. The pension regime affects individuals' welfare by altering how yielding to temptation (i.e. not saving, or saving less) is attractive. We show that proportional taxation increases the cost of self-control, and that this adverse effect is more acute when public pensions become more redistributive.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1311.pdf
File Function: First version 2013
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Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1311.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1311
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  1. Cagri S. Kumru & Athanasios C. Thanopoulos, 2010. "Social Security Reform with Self-Control Preferences," Discussion Papers 2010-11, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  2. Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruşçu & Anthony A. Smith Jr., 2010. "Temptation and Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 2063-2084, November.
  3. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Commitment and Self-Control," Microeconomics 0509008, EconWPA.
  4. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2002. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Seminar Papers 712, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Kumru, Çagri S. & Thanopoulos, Athanasios C., 2008. "Social security and self control preferences," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 757-778, March.
  6. Kevin X.D. Huang & Zheng Liu & John Q. Zhu, 2007. "Temptation and Self-Control: Some Evidence and Applications," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0711, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  7. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia & Summers, Lawrence H, 1982. "The Adequacy of Savings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1056-69, December.
  8. Diamond, Peter & Koszegi, Botond, 2003. "Quasi-hyperbolic discounting and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 1839-1872, September.
  9. Robin Boadway & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau & María del Mar Racionero, 2002. "Optimal Redistribution with Heterogeneous Preferences for Leisure," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(4), pages 475-498, October.
  10. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  11. Diamond, P. A., 1977. "A framework for social security analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 275-298, December.
  12. Jonathan Skinner, 2007. "Are You Sure You're Saving Enough for Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 12981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alessandro Bucciol, 2012. "Measuring Self-Control Problems: A Structural Estimation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1084-1115, October.
  14. Bucciol, Alessandro, 2011. "A Note On Social Security Welfare With Self-Control Problems," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(04), pages 579-594, September.
  15. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  16. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2006. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 607-643, August.
  17. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
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