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Ex-ante methods to assess the impact of social insurance policies on labor supply with an application to Brazil

Author

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  • Robalino, David A.
  • Zylberstajn, Eduardo
  • Zylberstajn, Helio
  • Afonso, Luis Eduardo

Abstract

This paper solves and estimates a stochastic model of optimal inter-temporal behavior to assess how changes in the design of the unemployment benefits and pension systems in Brazil could affect savings rates, the share of time that individuals spend outside of the formal sector, and retirement decisions. Dynamics depend on five main parameters: preferences regarding consumption and leisure, preferences regarding formal versus informal work, attitudes towards risks, the rate of time preference, and the distribution of an exogenous shock that affects movements in and out of the social insurance system (given individual decisions). The yearly household survey is used to create a pseudo panel by age-cohorts and estimate the joint distribution of model parameters based on a generalized version of the Gibbs sampler. The model does a good job in replicating the distribution of the members of a given cohort across states (in or out of the social insurance / active or retired). Because the parameters are related to individual preferences or exogenous shocks, the joint distribution is unlikely to change when the social insurance system changes. Thus, the model is used to explore how alternative policy interventions could affect behaviors and through this channel, benefit levels and fiscal costs. The results from various simulations provide three main insights: (i) the Brazilian social insurance system today might generate unnecessary distortions (lower savings rates and less formal employment) that increase the costs of the system and can induce regressive redistribution; (ii) there are important interactions between the unemployment benefits and pension systems, which calls for joint policy analysis when considering reforms; and (iii) current distortions could be reduced by creating an actuarial link between contributions and benefits and then combining matching contributions and anti-poverty targeted transfers to cover individuals with limited or no savings capacity.

Suggested Citation

  • Robalino, David A. & Zylberstajn, Eduardo & Zylberstajn, Helio & Afonso, Luis Eduardo, 2009. "Ex-ante methods to assess the impact of social insurance policies on labor supply with an application to Brazil," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 52448, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:52448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Piggott, John & Sane, Renuka, 2009. "Indexing pensions," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 52445, The World Bank.
    2. World Bank, 2012. "Republic of Lebanon--Good Jobs Needed : The Role of Macro, Investment, Education, Labor and Social Protection Policies," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13217, The World Bank.
    3. Giles, John T. & Wang, Dewen & Cai, Wei, 2011. "The Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior of China's Older Workers and Elderly in Comparative Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 6088, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Holzmann, Robert, 2010. "Bringing Financial Literacy and Education to Low and Middle Income Countries: The Need to Review, Adjust, and Extend Current Wisdom," IZA Discussion Papers 5114, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. James, Estelle, 2009. "Rethinking survivor benefits," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 52919, The World Bank.
    6. Rodrigo Ceni, 2014. "Social security schemes and labor supply in the formal and informal sectors," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 14-12, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    7. Almeida, Rita & Arbelaez, Juliana & Honorati, Maddalena & Kuddo, Arvo & Lohmann, Tanja & Ovadiya, Mirey & Pop, Lucian & Puerta, Maria Laura Sanchez & Weber, Michael, 2012. "Improving access to jobs and earnings opportunities : the role of activation and graduation policies in developing countries," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 67610, The World Bank.
    8. Lord, Janet & Posarac, Aleksandra & Nicoli, Marco & Peffley, Karen & Mcclain-Nhlapo, Charlotte & Keogh, Mary, 2010. "Disability and international cooperation and development : a review of policies and practices," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 56092, The World Bank.
    9. Ra, Young-Sun & Shim, Kyung Woo, 2009. "The Korean case study : past experience and new trends in training policies," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 53696, The World Bank.
    10. Robalino, David A. & Zylberstajn, Eduardo & Robalino, Juan David, 2011. "Incentive Effects of Risk Pooling, Redistributive and Savings Arrangements in Unemployment Benefit Systems: Evidence from a Job-Search Model for Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 5476, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Pensions&Retirement Systems; Emerging Markets; Labor Policies; Labor Markets; Debt Markets;

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