Voting on Pensions with Endogenous Retirement Age

34 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2003

See all articles by Georges Casamatta

Georges Casamatta

Toulouse School of Economics (GREMAQ-CNRS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Helmuth Cremer

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Pierre Pestieau

University of Liege - Research Center on Public and Population Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

It is often argued that the observed trend towards early retirement is due mainly to the implicit tax imposed on continued activity of elderly workers. We study the relevance of such a distortion in a political economy model with endogenous age of retirement. The setting is a two-period overlapping generations model. Individuals differ in their productivity. In the first period they work a fixed amount of time; in the second, they choose when to retire and then receive a flat rate pension benefit. Pensions are financed by a payroll tax on earnings in the first and in the second period of life. Such a tax is non-distortionary in the first period; it is in the second period. We allow for some rebating of the second period tax. Individuals vote on the level of the payroll tax given a rebate that can range from 0 (biased system) to 100% (neutral system). We provide sufficient conditions for the existence of a voting equilibrium and study its properties. Under these conditions, high tax rates are supported by all the old and by low productivity young individuals. We show that the pivotal voter is a young individual. The number of young individuals who have higher wage than the pivotal voter equals half the total population. Finally, we study the simultaneous determination of the bias and the tax rate through a voting procedure and show that the equilibrium (if any) implies a bias that is always positive and may or not be larger than one.

Keywords: Social security, retirement age, majority voting

JEL Classification: D72, D90, H55

Suggested Citation

Casamatta, Georges and Cremer, Helmuth and Pestieau, Pierre, Voting on Pensions with Endogenous Retirement Age (January 2003). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3778. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=392685

Georges Casamatta (Contact Author)

Toulouse School of Economics (GREMAQ-CNRS) ( email )

Manufacture des Tabacs (bât. F)
21 Allee de Brienne
31000 Toulouse
France

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Helmuth Cremer

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI) ( email )

Toulouse, 31000
France
+33 1 6112 8606 (Phone)
+33 1 6112 8637 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Pierre Pestieau

University of Liege - Research Center on Public and Population Economics ( email )

Boulevard du Rectorat, 7, Batiment 31
Sart-Tilman
B-4000 Liege, 4000
Belgium
+32 4 366 3108 (Phone)
+32 4 366 3106 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Vopie Roman Pays
Louvain la Neuve
Belgium

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