Globalization, Social Security, and International Transfers
In this paper, we quantify the impact of globalization (i.e., integration of global capital markets) on intergenerational transfers mediated through Pay As You Go (PAYG) public pension systems in more developed countries (MDCs), as well as impacts on the intergenerational distribution of income and wealth. Our basic finding is that, while globalization is likely to erode the pension income of older persons, it will enhance their wealth, leaving their overall spending power little changed. The working age population, which earns lower wages, is an unambiguous loser from the globalization process, at least to the extent that we limit ourselves to a neoclassical analysis of the phenomenon. The main impact of globalization is unlikely, however, to be captured by economy-wide averages such as those presented in this paper. This is the redistribution from lifetime non-savers, especially the poor, who depend on labor income while young and wage-based intergenerational transfers when old, to lifetime savers, who are able to take advantage of improved capital returns. While we concentrate on MDCs in this paper, we make the point that economic impacts of globalization in less developed countries (LDCs) are opposite in sign and greater in relative magnitude. The latter is the case because reallocation of capital gives rise to a greater proportional change in the capital-output ratio in LDCs than in MDCs.
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