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05 April 2010

New Paper on Public Policies and Democracy...

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Social Security and Democracy

Using some new international data sets to produce both across-country econometric estimates as well as case studies of South American and southern European countries, we find that Social Security policies vary according to economic and demographic factors but that very different political histories can result in the same Social Security policy. We find weak partial correlation between democracy and the size of Social Security budgets, on how those budgets are allocated, or how economic and demographic factors affect Social Security. If there is any observed difference between democracies and non-democracies, it is that the former spend a little less of their GDP on Social Security, grow their budgets a bit more slowly, and cap their payroll tax more often, than do economically and demographically similar non-democracies. Democracies and non-democracies are equally likely to have benefit formulas inducing retirement and, conditional on GDP per capita, equally likely to induce retirement with a retirement test vs. an earnings test.

Casey B. Mulligan, University of Chicago
Ricard Gil, University of California, Santa Cruz
Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, Columbia University

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Starting January 30, 2012, I decided to put the random (economic) thoughts that I was posting on Facebook, in a blog. In this site you will be able to read all Facebook notes going back to 2008, (without my Friend’s comments, unfortunately), but we will only maintain the new thoughts. If you want to check out the old comments, they are still posted on Facebook. If you want to comment on them, you have two options (1) Become a Facebook Subscriber. Since all the posts will also appear in Facebook, you will be able to comment there. (2) Comment on Twitter, as each post will also be announced in Twitter.