Demographic Shock and Social Security: A Political Economy Perspective
Posted: 7 Nov 2001
We assume that individual voters differ not only according to age but also productivity. In the steady state, workers with wages in the intermediate range join the retired persons to form a majority and vote for a positive level of social security. When a shock decreases population growth, entrenched interests can constrain majority voting decisions and prevent reforms in the name of entitlements. We show that from a Rawlsian viewpoint it may be desirable to rely on these entitlements to protect the low wage earners of the transition generations. However, when the possibility of fixing a basic pension is introduced, it constitutes a better instrument than entitlements.
Keywords: Social security, majority voting, entitlements, aging
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