Privatizing Social Security (National Bureau of Economic by Martin Feldstein

By Martin Feldstein

This quantity represents an important paintings to this point on one of many urgent coverage problems with the instant: the privatization of social safety. even though social protection is dealing with huge, immense financial strain within the face of an getting older inhabitants, there was rather little released at the basics of crucial reform via privatization. Privatizing Social Security fills this void by way of learning the equipment and difficulties all in favour of moving from the present approach to 1 in keeping with needed saving in person accounts.

"Timely and critical. . . . [Privatizing Social Security] provides a forceful case for a thorough shift from the present unfunded, pay-as-you-go unmarried nationwide software to a compulsory funded software with person discounts debts. . . . an in depth research of ways a privatized plan could paintings within the usa is supplemented with the stories of 5 different international locations that experience privatized plans." —Library Journal

"[A] high-powered number of essays through most sensible specialists within the field."—Timothy Taylor, Public Interest

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If capital income taxes distort the lifetime distribution of each individual's consumption, a change in saving induced by these income effects will have a first-order effect on individual lifetime welfare. Talung this into account explicitly would not alter the condition under which privatizing an unfunded social security program raises the present value of consumption, but it would alter the magnitude of the gain. 50. Although the government may pay a net interest rate that is less than the marginal product of capital, the fact that national debt absorbs the private saving (and thereby displaces an equal amount of investment) implies that the lost return is the marginal product of capital.

5 . , the Americas column in the 28 June 1996 issue of the Wall Srreer Journal. 38 Sebastian Edwards Chile’s traditional retirement system was characterized by very high contribution rates. In 1973, for example, total contributions-by employers and employees-vaned between 16 and 26 percent of wages, depending on the type of job the individual held. h What made things worse was that there was almost no connection between retirement contributions and (perceived) benefits. In that regard, then, these contributions were largely seen as taxes on labor and contributed significantly to the poor performance of the country’s labor market during the 1960s and 1970s (Cox-Edwards 1992).

Despite these differences, however, there is a core of common structural features. In order to compare the evolution of the different systems and the structure of the privatized programs, I asked the authors of each of the country papers to address a common set of questions. Each country paper therefore begins by describing the social security pension system before the reform. It then discusses the reasons that the change was made and the steps that were needed to make the shift politically possible.

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