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An Egg Today and a Chicken Tomorrow: A Model of Social Security with Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting

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Abstract

Strotz (1956) first suggested that individuals are more impatient when making short-run tradeoffs than long-run ones. Many experimental studies supports his conjecture. Motivated by recent evidence from the British Department of Work and Pension (2006), this paper applies this behavioral framework to retirement decisions. We propose a three-periods OLG model with quasi-hyperbolic consumers whosave for post retirement consumption in the first period and choose their retirement age in the second. We show that this behavioral assumption explains the observed drop in post retirement consumptiondue to lack of saving and the high level of voluntary (i.e. not due to disability or dismission from the firm) early exit from the labor force. When deciding about their retirement age, workers weight too much the costs of remaining at work (i.e. disutility of working, implicit tax on continued activity) and too little the benefits of postponed retirement (i.e. increase of the Bismarckian component of the pension formula), perceived as too far in the future. We investigate the implications of time inconsistent preferences for a political economy model in which voters determine simultaneously thesize and the degree of redistribution of the pension system. We show that, when voting over thepayroll tax, time inconsistent young workers, who look for a commitment device that increases boththeir saving and retirement age, form a coalition with rich in order to decrease the size of the system. When voting over the degree of redistribution, they form a coalition with poor individuals as to in-crease the at part of the pension formula. Our political model provides a political justification for the negative relationship between size and redistribution observed in most OECD countries (Disney 2004).

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Bassi, 2008. "An Egg Today and a Chicken Tomorrow: A Model of Social Security with Quasi-Hyperbolic Discounting," CSEF Working Papers 205, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:205
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    Cited by:

    1. Oliwia Komada & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2017. "Welfare effects of fiscal policy in reforming the pension system," GRAPE Working Papers 11, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    2. Jan Hagemejer & Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2013. "Efficiency of the pension reform: the welfare effects of various fiscal closures," Working Papers 2013-23, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    3. Marcin Bielecki & Karolina Goraus & Jan Hagemejer & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2014. "The Sooner The Better - The Welfare Effects of the Retirement Age Increase Under Various Pension Schemes," Working Papers 2014-12, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    4. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2018. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(4), pages 583-606, December.
    5. Haavio, Markus & Kotakorpi, Kaisa, 2011. "The political economy of sin taxes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 575-594, May.
    6. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2018. "Inequality in an OLG economy with heterogeneous cohorts and pension systems," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(4), pages 583-606, December.
    7. Jan Hagemejer & Marcin Bielecki & Karolina Goraus & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2014. "The Sooner The Better - The Welfare Effects of the Retirement Age Increase Under Various Pension Schemes," EcoMod2014 6868, EcoMod.
    8. Bielecki, Marcin & Goraus, Karolina & Hagemejer, Jan & Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2016. "Decreasing fertility vs increasing longevity: Raising the retirement age in the context of ageing processes," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PA), pages 125-143.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hyperbolic Discounting; Majority Voting; Redistribution; Retirement Age; Saving Behaviour;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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