Illusory Gains from Privatizing Social Security when Reform is Politically Unstable

With compulsory funded public social security systems, pension savings constitute a large stock of assets. In this paper we consider an economy populated by overlapping generations, which may decide about abolishing the funded system and replacing it with the pay-as-you-go scheme (i.e. unprivatizing the pension system). We compare politically stable as well as politically unstable reforms and show that even if the funded system is overall welfare enhancing, the cohort distribution of benefits along the transition path may turn privatizing social security politically unsustainable.

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