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Social security reforms and early retirement

  • Fehr, Hans
  • Sterkeby, Wenche I.
  • Thøgersen, Øystein

In order to stimulate labor market participation and improve the financial viability of the social security systems, many recent reform proposals in various OECD economies suggest to scale down the non-actuarial parts of the pension systems. These reforms have a flavour of increased efficiency at the costs of welfare losses for low income individuals. Investigating such a belief, we employ an overlapping generations model which features an endogenous retirement age and heterogenous individuals within generations. Based on a simple theoretical version of the model we demonstrate that high income individuals are likely to gain. The sign of the welfare effect for low income households is ambiguous because we do not know whether the effect of lower pension benefits is offset by the effect of a reduced tax-burden. Employing an extended CGE version of the model, which is calibrated to the Norwegian economy, we consider five reform proposals. It turns out that the various reforms which scale down the public non-actuarial pension system, lead to increases in the retirement age and steady-state welfare gains for all income classes.

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Paper provided by University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics in its series W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers with number 24.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuewep:24
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  1. Hu, Sheng Cheng, 1979. "Social Security, the Supply of Labor, and Capital Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 274-83, June.
  2. Bratberg, E. & Holmas, T.H. & Thogersen, O., 2000. "Assessing the Effects of Early Retirement Programs," Papers 4/2000, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  3. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Would Privatizing Social Security Raise Economic Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 5281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jonathan Gruber & David Wise, 1997. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Introduction and Summary of Papers by..," NBER Working Papers 6134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Transition from a pay-as-you-go to a fully funded pension system: The case of differing individuals and intragenerational fairness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 131-146, April.
  6. Raffelhuschen, Bernd & Risa, Alf Erling, 1995. "Reforming social security in a small open economy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 469-485, September.
  7. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Welfare Effects of Dynamic Tax Reforms," Beiträge zur Finanzwissenschaft, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, edition 1, volume 5, number urn:isbn:9783161470165.
  8. Brunner, Johann K., 1993. "Redistribution and the efficiency of the pay-as-you-go pension system," Discussion Papers, Series I 265, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
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