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Variable Retirement and the Effects of Social Insurance on Savings, Wealth, and Welfare

  • Turnovsky, Stephen J.
  • Bruce, Neil

We construct a Blanchard-style overlapping generations model consisting of long-lived individuals who have uninsurable idiosyncratic risk resulting from uncertain retirement periods and medical costs in retirement. Without social insurance, such individuals must save for these eventualities. We examine the impact of pay-as-you-go social insurance policies (public pensions and medicare coverage) on individual and aggregate consumption, saving, and wealth levels as well as wealth distribution. We also derive expressions for optimal (Pareto improving) social insurance policies.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2007-5.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:5519
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  1. Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Government debt and social security in a life-cycle economy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 61-110, June.
  2. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  3. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2001. "Intergenerational Risk Sharing in the Spirit of Arrow, Debreu, and Rawls, with Applications to Social Security Design," NBER Working Papers 8270, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
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