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Intergenerational Risk Sharing and Fiscal Policy

  • Henning Bohn

The paper derives conditions for ex ante efficient intergenerational risk sharing in overlapping generations models. I show how the efficiency of a fiscal policy can be evaluated without distributional judgments, I derive efficiency conditions, and then examine specific models. For models with CRRA preferences, laissez-faire allocations are found inefficient in the direction of imposing not enough productivity risk on retirees and too much risk on future generations. Governments commonly issue safe debt and promise safe public pensions, which protects retirees and shifts more risk onto future generations. This is inefficient, except under one condition: if preferences display age-increasing risk aversion. Thus governments seem to treat future generations of workers as if they are more risk tolerant than retirees

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 22.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed004:22
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/
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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Ogaki, Masao, 1995. "Measuring intertemporal substitution: The role of durable goods," MPRA Paper 13690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "Intertemporal Substitution in Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 339-57, April.
  3. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer99-1, March.
  5. Antonio Rangel & Richard Zeckhauser, 2001. "Can Market and Voting Institutions Generate Optimal Intergenerational Risk Sharing?," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 113-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Henry Kim, 1999. "Inaccuracy of Loglinear Approximation in Welfare Calculations: the Case of International Risk Sharing," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 251, Society for Computational Economics.
  7. Enders, Walter & Lapan, Harvey E, 1982. "Social Security Taxation and Intergenerational Risk Sharing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 23(3), pages 647-58, October.
  8. Andrew B. Abel, 2001. "The Effects of Investing Social Security Funds in the Stock Market When Fixed Costs Prevent Some Households from Holding Stocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 128-148, March.
  9. Henning Bohn, 2001. "Social Security and Demographic Uncertainty: The Risk-Sharing Properties of Alternative Policies," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 203-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dirk Krueger & Felix Kubler, 2002. "Intergenerational Risk-Sharing via Social Security when Financial Markets Are Incomplete," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 407-410, May.
  11. Campbell, John, 1994. "Inspecting the Mechanism: An Analytical Approach to the Stochastic Growth Model," Scholarly Articles 3196342, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Roger H. Gordon & Hal R. Varian, 1985. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing," NBER Working Papers 1730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Alan J. Auerbach & Kevin A. Hassett, 2002. "Optimal Long-Run Fiscal Policy: Constraints, Preferences and the Resolution of Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 9132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 170-80, March.
  15. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Introduction to "Generational Accounting around the World"," NBER Chapters, in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Robert J. Shiller, 2003. "Social Security and Individual Accounts as Elements of Overall Risk-Sharing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 343-347, May.
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