This paper, a forthcoming chapter in the Handbook of Public Economics, reviews the theoretical and empirical issues dealing with Social Security pensions. The first part of the paper discusses pure pay-as-you-go plans. It considers the effects of introducing such a plan on the present value of consumption, the optimal level of benefits in such plans, and the emprical research on the effects of pay-as-you-go pension systems on labor supply and saving. The second part of the paper discusses the transition to investment-based systems, analyzing the effect on the present value of consumption of such a transition and considering such issues as the distributional effects and risk associated with such systems.
Published: Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.