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The Welfare Gains of Improving Risk Sharing in Social Security

Author

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  • Conny Olovsson

    () (Department of Economics Stockholm School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper shows that improved intergenerational risk sharing in social security may imply very large welfare gains, amounting to up to 15 percent of the per-period consumption relative to the current U.S. consumption. Improved risk sharing raises welfare through a direct effect, i.e., by correcting an initially inefficient allocation of risk, and through a general equilibrium (GE) effect. The GE effect is due to the fact that the allocation of risk in the pay-as-you-go system influences the demand for capital. As a result, with an efficient risk sharing arrangement, the crowding out effect associated with an unfunded system can actually be completely eliminated. Efficient risk sharing in social security implies highly volatile and pro-cyclical benefits, i.e., that retirees' exposure to productivity risk is increased. Consequently, a policy involving completely safe benefits will unambiguously be welfare reducing.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Conny Olovsson, 2005. "The Welfare Gains of Improving Risk Sharing in Social Security," 2005 Meeting Papers 584, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:584
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shiller, Robert J., 1999. "Social security and institutions for intergenerational, intragenerational, and international risk-sharing," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 165-204, June.
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    4. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2007. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 523-547, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lans Bovenberg & Harald Uhlig, 2008. "Pension Systems and the Allocation of Macroeconomic Risk," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2006, pages 241-344 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. D'Amato, Marcello & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2010. "Political intergenerational risk sharing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 628-637, October.
    3. Gottardi, Piero & Kubler, Felix, 2011. "Social security and risk sharing," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1078-1106, May.
    4. Dirk Krueger, 2006. "Public Insurance against Idiosyncratic and Aggregate Risk: The Case of Social Security and Progressive Income Taxation," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(4), pages 587-620, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Security; risk sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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