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Zeldes, Stephen P.

Works: 34 works in 195 publications in 2 languages and 1,101 library holdings
Roles: Author
Classifications: HB1, 330
Publication Timeline
Publications about Stephen P Zeldes
Publications by Stephen P Zeldes
Most widely held works by Stephen P Zeldes
Social security privatization : a structure for analysis by Olivia S Mitchell( Book )
12 editions published in 1996 in English and held by 86 libraries worldwide
This paper identifies the key economic issues that must be addressed in the debate over a privatized social security system. We examine a two-pillar plan. The first pillar would consist of a demogrant: a small indexed pension of the same dollar amount for all retirees who had contributed to the system over a full lifetime of work. The second pillar would consist of a fully-funded individual defined-contribution account, financed by payroll taxes, held in financial institutions, and directed by participants. We explore how such a system would affect the risks households face, how it would alter the distribution of income, and how it might influence household behavior, including incentives to work and save, and portfolio choices. We also examine macroeconomic issues: how the transition to a private plan would occur, and what the likely effects would be on national saving. We conclude that a two-pillar system offers several positive features, namely a reduction in political risk, an increase in household portfolio choice, and improved work incentives. Disadvantages include less redistributiveness and national risk sharing, and increased administrative costs
Social security money's worth by John Geanakoplos( Book )
18 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 83 libraries worldwide
This paper describes how three money's worth measures the benefit-to-tax ratio, the internal rate of return, and the net present value are calculated and used in analyses of social security reforms, including systems with privately managed individual accounts invested in equities. Declining returns from the U.S. social security system prove to be the inevitable result of having instituted an unfunded (pay-as-you-go) retirement system that delivered $7.9 trillion of net transfers (in 1997 present value dollars) to people born before 1917, and will deliver another $1.8 trillion to people born between 1918 and 1937. But young and future workers cannot necessarily do better by investing their payroll taxes in capital markets. If the old system were closed down, massive unfunded liabilities of $9-10 trillion would still have to be paid unless already accrued benefits were cut. Alternative methods of calculating these accrued benefits yield somewhat different numbers: the straight line calculation is $800 billion less than the constant benefit calculation we propose as the benchmark. Using this benchmark in a world with no uncertainty, we show that privatization without prefunding would not increase returns at all, net of the new taxes needed to pay for unfunded liabilities. These new taxes would amount to 3.6 percent of payroll, or about 29 percent of social security contributions. Prefunding, implemented by reducing accrued benefits or by raising taxes, would eventually increase money's worth for later generations, but at the cost of lower money's worth for today's workers and/or retirees. Computing money's worth when there is uncertainty is much more difficult unless four conditions hold prices into stocks and out of bonds has no effect whatsoever on money's worth when it i adjusted for risk: a dollar of stock is worth no more than a dollar of bonds. diversification can raise welfare for constrained households, but the exact money's worth must depend on specific assumptions about household attitu
Would a privatized social security system really pay a higher rate of return? by John Geanakoplos( Book )
20 editions published between 1998 and 2000 in English and held by 82 libraries worldwide
Many advocates of social security privatization argue that rates of return under a defined contribution individual account system would be much higher for all than they are under the current social security system. This claim is false. The mistake comes from ignoring accrued benefits already promised based on past payroll taxes, and from underestimating the riskiness of stock investments. Confusion arises because three distinct reforms are muddled. By privatization we mean creating individual accounts (which could, for example, be invested exclusively in bonds). By diversification we mean investing in stocks, and perhaps other assets, as well as bonds; diversification might be undertaken either by individuals in their private social security accounts, or by the social security trust fund. By prefunding we mean closing the gap between social security benefits promised to date and the assets on hand to pay for them. Any one of these reforms could be implemented without the other two. If the system were completely privatized, with no prefunding or diversification, the social security system would need to raise taxes and/or issue new debt in order to pay benefits already accrued. If the burden were spread evenly across all future generations via a constant proportional tax, the added taxes would completely eliminate any rate of return advantage on the individual accounts. We estimate that the required new taxes would amount to about 3 percent of payroll, or about a quarter of all social security contributions, in perpetuity. Unlike privatization, prefunding would raise rates of return for later generations, but at the cost of lower returns for today's workers. For households able to invest in the stock market on their own, diversification would not raise rates of return, correctly adjusted to recognize risk. Households that are constrained from holding stock, due to lack of wealth outside of social security or to fixed costs from holding stocks, would gain higher risk-adjusted returns and would be
Do the rich save more? by Karen E Dynan( Book )
20 editions published in 2000 in English and held by 81 libraries worldwide
Abstract: The issue of whether higher lifetime income households save a larger fraction of their income is an important factor in the evaluation of tax and macroeconomic policy. Despite an outpouring of research on this topic in the 1950s and 1960s, the question remains unresolved and has since received little attention. This paper revisits the issue, using new empirical methods and the Panel Study on Income Dynamics, the Survey of Consumer Finances, and the Consumer Expenditure Survey. We first consider the various ways in which life cycle models can be altered to generate differences in saving rates by income groups: differences in Social Security benefits, different time preference rates, non-homothetic preferences, bequest motives, uncertainty, and consumption floors. Using a variety of instruments for lifetime income, we find a strong positive relationship between personal saving rates and lifetime income. The data do not support theories relying on time preference rates, non-homothetic preferences, or variations in Social Security benefits. Instead, the evidence is consistent with models in which precautionary saving and bequest motives drive variations in saving rates across income groups. Finally, we illustrate how models that assume a constant rate of saving across income groups can yield erroneous predictions
Precautionary saving and social insurance by R. Glenn Hubbard( Book )
14 editions published between 1994 and 1995 in English and German and held by 78 libraries worldwide
Microdata studies of household saving often find a significant group in the population with virtually no wealth, raising concerns about heterogeneity in motives for saving. In particular, this heterogeneity has been interpreted as evidence against the life-cycle model of saving. This paper argues that a life-cycle model can replicate observed patterns in household wealth accumulation after accounting explicitly for precautionary saving and asset-based means- tested social insurance. We demonstrate theoretically that social insurance programs with means tests based on assets discourage saving by households with low expected lifetime income. In addition, we evaluate the model using a dynamic programming model with four state variables. Assuming common preference parameters across lifetime- income groups, we are able to replicate the empirical pattern that low-income households are more likely than high-income households to hold virtually no wealth. Low wealth accumulation can be explained as a utility-maximizing response to asset-based means-tested welfare programs
Dynamic efficiency in the gifts economy by Stephen A O'Connell( Book )
12 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and held by 47 libraries worldwide
In the standard analysis of an overlapping generations economy with gifts from children to parents, each generation takes the actions of all other generations as given. The resulting "simultaneous moves" equilibrium is dynamically inefficient. In reality, however, parents precede children in time and realize that children will respond to higher parental saving by reducing their gifts. Incorporating this feature lowers the effective return to saving, resulting in lower steady state capital accumulation. For a broad class of gift economies, we show that the steady state capital stock in the gifts model must be on the efficient side of the golden rule. The analysis therefore overturns the standard presumption of dynamic inefficiency in the gift economy. This result reestablishes the potential relevance of the gift model to the U.S. economy, renders moot an important part of the debate on Ricardian Equivalence, extends the recent literature on the effects of implicit taxation on capital accumulation, and provides a motivation for the presence of a Social Security type system that unconditionally transfers resources from young to old
The consumption of stockholders and non-stockholders by N. Gregory Mankiw( Book )
12 editions published between 1990 and 1991 in English and held by 39 libraries worldwide
Abstract: the consumption of stockholders differs from the consumption of non-stockholders
The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving by R. Glenn Hubbard( Book )
2 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 37 libraries worldwide
Production, sales, and the change in inventories : an identity that doesn't add up by Jeffrey A Miron( Book )
8 editions published between 1987 and 1989 in English and held by 26 libraries worldwide
We examine two measures of monthly manufacturing production. The first is the index of industrial production; the second is constructed from the accounting identity that output equals sales plus the change in inventories. We show that the means, variances, and serial correlation coefficients of the log growth races differ substantially between the two series, and the cross-correlations between the two seasonally adjusted series are in most cases less than .4. A model of classical measurement error indicates chat in 15 of 20 2-digit industries measurement error accounts for over 35% of the variation in the monthly growth rates of seasonally adjusted industrial production
Reforming Social Security with progressive personal accounts by John Geanakoplos( Book )
10 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 25 libraries worldwide
The heated debate about how to reform Social Security has come to a standstill because the view of most Democrats (that Social Security must be a defined benefits plan similar in spirit to the current system) seems irreconcilable with the proposals supported by many Republicans (to create a defined contribution system of personal accounts holding marketed assets). We describe a system of "progressive personal accounts" that preserves the core goals of both parties, and that is self-balancing on an ongoing basis. Progressive personal accounts have two critical features: (1) accruals into the personal accounts would be exclusively in a new kind of derivative security (which we call a PAAW for Personal Annuitized Average Wage security) that pays its owner one inflation-corrected dollar during every year of life after his statutory retirement date, multiplied by the economy wide average wage at the retirement date and (2) households would buy their new PAAWs each year with their social security contributions, augmented or reduced by a government match that would add to contributions from households with low lifetime incomes by taking from households with high lifetime incomes. PAAWS define benefits and achieve risk sharing across generations, as Democrats would like, yet can be held in personal accounts with market valuations, as Republicans propose
Seasonality, cost shocks and the production smoothing model of inventories by Jeffrey A Miron( Book )
11 editions published between 1986 and 1989 in English and German and held by 24 libraries worldwide
A great deal of research on the empirical behavior of inventories examines some variant of the production smoothing model of finished goods inventories. The overall assessment of this model that exists in the literature is quite negative: there is little evidence that manufacturers hold inventories of finished goods in order to smooth production patterns. This paper examines whether this negative assessment of the model is due to one or both of two features: costs shocks and seasonal fluctuations. The reason for considering costs shocks is that if firms are buffeted more by cost shocks than demand shocks, production should optimally be more variable than sales. The reasons for considering seasonal fluctuations are that seasonal fluctuations account for a major portion of the variance in production and sales, that seasonal fluctuations are precisely the kinds of fluctuations that producers should most easily smooth, and that seasonally adjusted data is likely to produce spurious rejections of the production smoothing model even when it is correct. We integrate cost shocks and seasonal fluctuations into the analysis of the production smoothing model in three steps. First, we present a general production smoothing model of inventory investment that is consistent with both seasonal and non-seasonal fluctuations in production, sales, and inventories. The model allows for both observable and unobservable changes in marginal costs. Second, we estimate this model using both seasonally adjusted and seasonally unadjusted data plus seasonal dummies. The goal here is to determine whether the incorrect use of seasonally adjusted data has been responsible for the rejections of the production smoothing model reported in previous studies. The third part of our approach is to explicitly examine the seasonal movements in the data. We test whether the residual from an Euler equation is uncorrelated with the seasonal component of contemporaneous sales. Even if unobservable seasonal cost shocks make the seasonal v
Market valuation of accrued social security benefits by John Geanakoplos( Book )
9 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 15 libraries worldwide
One measure of the health of the Social Security system is the difference between the market value of the trust fund and the present value of benefits accrued to date. How should present values be computed for this calculation in light of future uncertainties? We think it is important to use market value. Since claims on accrued benefits are not currently traded in financial markets, we cannot directly observe a market value. In this paper, we use a model to estimate what the market price for these claims would be if they were traded
The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving by R. Glenn Hubbard( Book )
6 editions published in 1993 in English and held by 14 libraries worldwide
The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving by R. Glenn Hubbard( Book )
10 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and held by 12 libraries worldwide
This paper examines predictions of a life-cycle simulation model -- in which individuals face uncertainty regarding their length of life, earnings, and out-of-pocket medical expenditures, and imperfect insurance and lending markets -- for individual and aggregate wealth accumulation. Relative to life-cycle or buffer-stock alternatives, our augmented life-cycle model better matches a variety of features of U.S. data, including: (1) aggregate wealth, (2) cross-sectional differences in wealth-age and consumption-age profiles by education group, and (3) short-run time-series co-movements of consumption and income
Ricardian consumers with Keynesian propensities by Robert B Barsky( Book )
7 editions published between 1984 and 1987 in English and held by 8 libraries worldwide
In this paper, we examine Ricardian equivalence of debt and tax finance in a world in which taxes are not lump-sum but are levied on risky labor income. First, we show that the marginal propensity to consume out of a tax cut, coupled with a future income tax increase, is positive under reasonable assumptions regarding preferences toward risk. Second, we document that the degree of income uncertainty facing the typical individual orfamily is large. Third, we show that, for plausible utility function parameters and distributions of future income, the MPC out of a tax cut is quantitatively large. Indeed, the MPC out of a tax cut, coupled with a future income tax increase, can be closer to the Keynesian value that ignores the future tax liabilities than to the Ricardian value that treats future taxes as if they were lump-sum
Consumption and liquidity constraints : an empirical investigation by Stephen P Zeldes( Book )
3 editions published between 1985 and 1988 in English and held by 5 libraries worldwide
What makes annuitization more appealing? by John Beshears( Book )
3 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Abstract: Abstract: We conduct and analyze two large surveys of hypothetical annuitization choices. We find that allowing individuals to annuitize a fraction of their wealth increases annuitization relative to a situation where annuitization is an (3z (Ball or nothing (3y (B decision. Very few respondents choose declining real payout streams over flat or increasing real payout streams of equivalent expected present value. Highlighting the effects of inflation increases demand for cost of living adjustments. Frames that focus on flexibility, control, and investment risk significantly reduce annuitization. A majority of respondents prefer to receive an extra (3z (Bbonus (3y (B payment during one month of the year that is funded by slightly lower payments in the remaining months. Concerns about later-life income, spending flexibility, and counterparty risk are the most important self-reported motives that influence the annuitization decision, whereas the desire to leave a bequest has little influence on this decision
Social security money's worth by John Geanakoplos( Article )
1 edition published in 1998 in English and held by 4 libraries worldwide
Optimal consumption with stochastic income : deviations from certainty equivalence by Stephen P Zeldes( Book )
2 editions published between 1984 and 1986 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
Ponzi games and Ricardian equivalence by Stephen A O'Connell( Book )
1 edition published in 1987 in English and held by 2 libraries worldwide
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Alternative Names
Zeldes, Stephen
Zeldes, Stephen Paul
English (179)
German (2)
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