Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NBER Summer Institute: Papers available online

Last week I attended the Social Security section of the NBER's annual summer institute up in Boston. A number of interesting papers were presented, some of which are available online. The links are available below. A couple of quick comments on a few of the papers:

  • The Auerbach/Lee paper covers much of the same ground as the working paper on resiliency of Social Security financing I put out through AEI a few weeks ago, though they take the extra step of evaluating how the reduction in uncertainty affects the welfare of different cohorts.
  • The Liebman/Luttmer/Seif paper looks at how well people understand the fact that their Social Security benefits are linked to the taxes they pay, and how this understanding may affect their behavior. They concluded that we can reject the idea that people have no understanding of the benefit formula, but couldn't conclude how firm an understanding they actually do have. This has policy implications, in that one argument for personal accounts has been that it would encourage work by making the tax/benefit link clearer. (In most personal account plans to date that actually wouldn't be the case, since they're built on top of the current benefit formula, but it could be relevant for certain types of reform plans.)
  • The Delavande/Rohwedder presentation (unfortunately not available online) looked at an experimental online poll in which individuals were asked how they would react to a Social Security benefit reduction, by saving more, working longer, delaying claiming, etc. A very interesting exercise.



ENRICO PEROTTI, University of Amsterdam; The Political Origin of Pension Funding and State Ownership

JUSTINE HASTINGS, Yale University and NBER, LYDIA TEJEDA-ASHTON, Yale University; Financial Literacy, Information, and Demand Elasticity: Survey and Experimental Evidence from Mexico

ALAN AUERBACH and RONALD LEE, UC, Berkeley and NBER; Welfare and Generational Equity in Sustainable Unfunded Pension Systems

GIOVANNI MASTROBUONI, Collegio Carlo Alberto; Labor Supply Effects of the Recent Social Security Benefit Cuts: Empirical Estimates Using Cohort Discontinuities

ERZO LUTTMER and JEFFREY LIEBMAN, Harvard University and NBER, DAVID SEIF, Harvard University; Labor Supply Response to the Social Security Tax-Benefit Linkage

ADELINE DELAVANDE and SUSANN ROHWEDDER, RAND; Individuals' Responses to Social Security Reform

GAOBO PANG and MARK WARSHAWSKY, Watson Wyatt Worldwide; Optimizing the Equity-Bond-Annuity Portfolio in Retirement: The Impact of Uncertain Health Expenses

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