EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Rational Overconfidence and Social Security

Carsten Nielsen

No def021, DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE)

Abstract: Is an assumption of bounded rationality needed to explain Social Security and other mandatory pension plans? In this contribution we argue that when rational agents hold inconsistent expectations such programs may be justified. Two of the features that distinguish Social Security and many other state mandated pension plans around the world are that (i) a minimum level of savings for retirement is imposed on most citizens and (ii) individuals cannot freely decide how their contributions are invested. Here, a rationale for these two features, based on rational overconfidence, is proposed. Rational overconfidence is present when equally informed agents hold diverse confident, rational beliefs. The fact that beliefs are diverse means that all of them cannot be correct, hence seen as a collective agents do not act optimally. In the face of rational overconfidence, Pareto efficiency is no longer the natural criterion for comparing policies and we suggest ex-post welfare optimality in stead. This criterion makes amends for the possible inconsistencies of agents' beliefs. Our results on social security are based on a methodology that places itself strictly between the traditional neoclassical approach and that championed by behavioral economics. This methodology does not deviate from the neoclassical assumption of rationality but only broadens it and can therefore readily be applied to many public policy issues.

Keywords: Subjective Expectations; Rational Beliefs; Ex-post Welfare Optimality; Social Security; Rational Overconfidence; Portfolio Choice (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D01 D02 D63 D81 D84 H55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30
Date: 2014-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (20) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://dipartimenti.unicatt.it/economia-finanza-def021.pdf First version, 2014 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Rational Overconfidence and Social Security (2009) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ctc:serie1:def021

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Simone Moriconi ( this e-mail address is bad, please contact ).

 
Page updated 2022-09-30
Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie1:def021