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Home Production and Social Security Reform

  • fang yang

    (SUNY albany)

  • Wenli Li

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

  • Michael Dotsey

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

This paper incorporates home production into a dynamic general equilibrium model of overlapping generations with endogenous retirement to study Social Security reforms. As such, the model differentiates both consumption goods and labor effort according to their respective roles in home production and market activities. Using a calibrated model, we find that eliminating the current pay-as-you-go Social Security system has important implications for both labor supply and consumption decisions and that these decisions are influenced by the presence of a home production technology. Specifically, without Social Security benefits households work much more in the market, especially in old age, while young households also engage more in home production. For consumption, households increase their consumption of housing services -- an input for home production -- to a greater extent than for other market-produced goods. Comparing our benchmark economy to one with differentiated goods but no home production, we find that eliminating Social Security benefits generates larger welfare gains in the presence of home production. This result is due to the self insurance aspects generated by the presence of home production. Comparing our economy to a one-good economy without home production, we show that the welfare gains of eliminating Social Security are magnified even further. These policy analyses suggest the importance of modeling home production and distinguishing between both time use and consumption goods depending on whether they are involved in market or home production.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 469.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:469
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