The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform

Front Cover
Martin Feldstein, Jeffrey B. Liebman
University of Chicago Press, Jun 15, 2002 - Political Science - 479 pages
Social security is the largest and perhaps the most popular program run by the federal government. Given the projected increase in both individual life expectancy and sheer number of retirees, however, the current system faces an eventual overload. Alternative proposals have emerged, ranging from reductions in future benefits to a rise in taxrevenue to various forms of investment-based personal retirement accounts.

As this volume suggests, the distributional consequences of these proposals are substantially different and may disproportionately affect those groups who depend on social security to avoid poverty in old age. Together, these studies persuasively show that appropriately designed investment-based social security reforms can effectively reduce the long-term burden of an aging society on future taxpayers, increase the expected future income of retirees, and mitigate poverty rates among the elderly.

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About the author (2002)

Martin Feldstein is the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University, president and CEO of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for President Reagan. He is the author and editor of many books, including International Capital Flows and Privatizing Social Security, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

Jeffrey B. Liebman is an associate professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He previously served as special assistant to President Clinton for economic policy and coordinated the administration's social security reform working group.

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