As population aging has become increasingly acute in many countries, the debate over how to reform often creaking public pension systems has gathered momentum. In many cases, this debate has become politicized and the focus on some of the underlying economic issues has been lost. This 2005 volume hopes to redress some of this imbalance. It begins by examining the rationale behind why public pension systems were introduced originally - out of fear that individuals do not adequately save for retirement. It then systematically examines different aspects of reforming these systems. It covers the fiscal repercussions of reform, the implications of the baby boom on asset returns in the years ahead, the political economy of the reform process, and finally the risk-sharing implications that are inherent in reform. An important additional goal of this volume is to make it accessible to as wide an audience as possible: students, academics, and policy makers.
• Contributors are top academics in economics • Balanced presentation of the issues with wide-ranging coverage and analysis • Hot topic - most debated public policy issue in the US
Preface; Contributors; Introduction Robin Brooks and Assaf Razin; Part I. Aging Populations and the Need for Social Security Reform: 1. The joint Japanese, EU, and U.S. demographic transitions - the roles of capital flows, immigration, and policy Hans Fehr, Sabine Jokisch and Laurence Kotlikoff; 2. Will Social Security and Medicare remain viable as the U.S. population is aging? An update Henning Bohn; Part II. Undersaving as a Rationale for Mandatory Social Security Programs: 3. Self-control and saving for retirement David Laibson, Andrea Repetto and Jeremy Tobacman; Part III. Investing Public Pensions in the Stock Market: 4. Social Security investment in equities Peter Diamond and John Geanakoplos; 5. Investing public pensions in the stock market: implications for risk sharing, capital formation, and public policy in the developed and developing world Deborah Lucas; 6. The risk-sharing implications of alternative social security arrangements Kjetil Storesletten, Chris Telmer, and Amir Yaron; Part IV. Financial Markets and Social Security Reform: 7. Asset market effects of the baby boom and Social Security reform Robin Brooks; 8. Demographic structure and asset returns James Poterba; 9. Will bequests attenuate the predicted meltdown in stock prices when baby boomers retire? Andrew Abel; Part V. Political Economy Aspects of Social Security Reform: 10. Aging and the private versus public pension controversy: a political-economy perspective Assaf Razin and Efraim Sadka; 11. How would you like to reform your pension system? The opinions of German and Italian citizens Tito Boeri, Axel-Boersch-Supan, and Guido Tabellini; Index.
Review of the hardback: 'This volume is a valuable collection of essays … authored by some of the foremost experts in the field, providing sophisticated research techniques as well as a well-rounded international perspective on the debate over social security reform. the book is well organized, providing arguments that are both cohesive and highly readable.' Journal of PEF