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Privatizing Social Security

This volume represents the most important work to date on one of the pressing policy issues of the moment: the privatization of social security. Although social security is facing enormous fiscal pressure in the face of an aging population, there has been relatively little published on the fundamentals of essential reform through privatization. Privatizing Social Security fills this void by studying the methods and problems involved in shifting from the current system to one based on mandatory saving in individual accounts.

"Timely and important. . . . [Privatizing Social Security] presents a forceful case for a radical shift from the existing unfunded, pay-as-you-go single national program to a mandatory funded program with individual savings accounts. . . . An extensive analysis of how a privatized plan would work in the United States is supplemented with the experiences of five other countries that have privatized plans." —Library Journal

"[A] high-powered collection of essays by top experts in the field."—Timothy Taylor, Public Interest

488 pages | 52 line drawings, 120 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1998

National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report

Economics and Business: Economics--Development, Growth, Planning, Economics--International and Comparative

Table of Contents

Introduction by Martin Feldstein
I. Country Studies
1. The Chilean Pension Reform: A Pioneering Program
Sebastian Edwards
Comment: Stephen P. Zeldes
Discussion Summary
2. Australia’s Retirement Income System
Malcolm Edey and John Simon
Comment: John Piggott
Discussion Summary
3. The Roles of the Public and Private Sectors in the U.K. Pension System
Alan Budd and Nigel Campbell
Comment: Richard Disney
Discussion Summary
4. Pension System Reform: The Mexican Case
Carlos Sales-Sarrapy, Fernando Solís-Soberón, and Alejandro Villagómez-Amezcua
Comment: Aaron Tornell
Discussion Summary
 5. The Shift to a Funded Social Security System: The Case of Argentina
Joaquín Cottani and Gustavo Demarco
Comment: Anita M. Schwartz
Discussion Summary
II. Privatization Issues for the United States
6. The Transition Path in Privatizing Social Security
Martin Feldstein and Andrew Samwick
Comment: John B. Shoven
Discussion Summary
7. Simulating the Privatization of Social Security in General Equilibrium
Laurence J. Kotlikoff
Comment: Thomas J. Sargent
Discussion Summary
8. Privatizing Social Security: First-Round Effects of a Generic, Voluntary, Privatized U.S. Social Security System
Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier 
Comment: David M. Cutler
Discussion Summary
9. Individual Financial Decisions in Retirement Saving Plans and the Provision of Resources for Retirement
James M. Poterba and David A. Wise
Comment: Jack L. VanDerhei
Discussion Summary
10. Administrative Costs in Public and Private Retirement Systems
Olivia S. Mitchell
Comment: Sylvester J. Schieber
Discussion Summary
Author Index
Subject Index

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