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Private Versus Public Old-Age Security

  • Barnett, Richard

    ()

    (Department of Economics & International Business LeBow College of Business Drexel University)

  • Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    ()

    (Department of Economics Iowa State University)

  • Puhakka, Mikko

    ()

    (Department of Economics University of Oulu)

We compare two institutions head on, a family compact – a parent makes a transfer to her parent in anticipation of a possible future gift from her children – with a pay-as-you-go, social security system in a lifecycle model with endogenous fertility wherein children are valued both as consumption and investment goods. Our focus is strictly on the pension dimension of these competing institutions. We show that an optimally-chosen family compact and a social security system cannot co-exist; indeed, the former may be preferred. A strong-enough negative shock to middle-age incomes destroys family compacts. While such a setting might appear ideal for the introduction of a social security system – as the experience of Europe, circa 1880s, would suggest – this turns out not to be the case: if incomes are too depressed to allow family compacts to flourish, they are also too low to permit introduction of an optimal social security system.

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File URL: http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/162210677/RePEc/drx/wpaper/LeBow%20College%20of%20Business%20Working%20Paper%202012-14.pdf
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Paper provided by LeBow College of Business, Drexel University in its series School of Economics Working Paper Series with number 2012-14.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 02 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:drxlwp:2012_014
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.lebow.drexel.edu/

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  1. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  2. Fenge, Robert & Meier, Volker, 2005. "Pensions and Fertility Incentives," Munich Reprints in Economics 20343, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  18. Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1996. "Social security in a non-altruistic model with uncertainty and endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 283-294, May.
  19. Luisa Fuster & Ayse Imrohoroglu & Selahattin Imrohoroglu, 2003. "A welfare analysis of social security in a dynastic framework," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1247-1274, November.
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