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Time inconsistent preferences and Social Security
In this paper we examine the role of social security in an economy populated by overlapping generations of individuals with time-inconsistent preferences who face mortality risk, individual income risk, and borrowing constraints. Agents in this economy are heterogeneous with respect to age, employment status, retirement status, hours worked, and asset holdings. We consider two cases of time-inconsistent preferences. First, we model agents as quasi-hyperbolic discounters. They can be sophisticated and play a symmetric Nash game against their future selves; or they can be naive and believe that ...
Does the progressivity of taxes matter for economic growth?
A sizeable literature has argued that the growth effects of changes in flat rate taxes are small. In this paper, we investigate the relatively unexplored area of the growth effect of changes in the tax structure, in particular, in the progressivity of taxes. Considering such a tax reform seems empirically more relevant than considering changes in flat tax rates. We construct a general equilibrium model of endogenous growth in which there is heterogeneity in income and in the tax rates. We limit heterogeneity to two types, skilled and unskilled, and posit that the probability of staying or ...
Stock returns and volatility in emerging financial markets
In this paper we study the dynamic behavior of stock returns and volatility in emerging financial markets. In particular, we focus our attention on the following questions: (1) Does stock return volatility in emerging markets change over time? If so, are volatility changes predictable? (2) How frequent are big surprises in emerging stock markets? (3) Is there any relationship between market risk and expected returns? (4) Has liberalization affected return volatility in emerging financial markets? ; Our findings can be summarized as follows. First, there is strong evidence of predictable ...
Projected U.S. demographics and social security
Without policy reforms, the aging of the U.S. population is likely to increase the burden of the currently unfunded social security and medicare systems. In this paper we build an applied general equilibrium model and incorporate the population projections made by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to evaluate the macroeconomic and welfare implications of alternative fiscal responses to the retirement of the baby- boomers. Our calculation suggest that it will be costly to maintain the benefits at the levels now promised because the increases in distortionary taxes required to finance ...
Social Security, benefit claiming, and labor force participation: a quantitative general equilibrium approach
We build a general equilibrium model of overlapping generations that incorporates endogenous saving, labor force participation, work hours, and Social Security benefit claims. Using this model, we study the impact of three Social Security reforms: 1) a reduction in benefits and payroll taxes; 2) an increase in the earliest retirement age, to sixty-four from sixty-two; and 3) an increase in the normal retirement age, to sixty-eight from sixty-six. We find that a 50 percent cut in the scope of the current system significantly raises asset holdings and the labor input, primarily through higher ...