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Social security, retirement, and the single-mindedness of the electorate
Mulligan, Casey B.; Sala-i-Martín, Xavier
Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Departament d'Economia i Empresa
We propose a positive theory that is consistent with two important featuresof social security programs around the world: (1) they redistributeincome from young to old and (2) they induce retirement. We construct avoting model that includes a political campaign or debate prior to theelection. The model incorporates single-mindedness of the groups that donot work: while the workers divide their political capital between their age concerns and occupational concerns , the retired concentrate alltheir political capital to support their age group. In our model, theelderly end up getting transfers from the government (paid by the young)and distortionary labor income taxes induce the retirement of the elderly.In addition, our model predicts that occupational groups that work morewill tend to have more political power. The opposite is true fornon-occupational groups (such as the elderly). We provide some evidencethat supports these additional predictions.
Labour, Public, Development and Health Economics
social security
retirement incentives
political theories of social security
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