On Myopia As Rationale for Social Security
Anderson, Torben M.; Bhattacharya, Joydeep
Economic Theory Vol. 47 no. 1 (2011): 135-158.
It has been argued that "paternalistically motivated forced savings constitutes an important, and to some the most important, rationale for social security retirement systems." This paper revisits the role played by myopia in generating a theoretical rationale for pay-as-you-go social security in dynamically efficient economies. If the competing asset is linear storage and myopic agents are allowed to borrow against future pension benefits, there is no welfare-rationale for pay-as-you-go pensions. In that case, sufficently-strong myopia may justify such pensions only if agents cannot borrow against their future pension, and are at a zero-saving corner. With enough myopia, co-existence of positive optimal pensions and positive private saving is possible if the return to saving declines with saving, as in a model with a neoclassical technology.
JEL Classification: E60, H55
Keywords: myopia, pensions, social security, dynamic efficiencyPublished Version