Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 607-623

First online:

Social security, social welfare and the aging population

  • Rowena A. PeccheninoAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA (Fax: +1-517-432-1068; e-mail:
  • , Kelvin R. UtendorfAffiliated withWoodbridge, VA 22192, USA (Fax: +1-703-492-0709; e-mail:

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This study examines the effects of pay-as-you-go social security programs in aging economies when the middle-aged both educate their dependent children and subsidize the retirement of the old. Using an overlapping generations framework in which agents are three-period lived but timing of death in the third period is uncertain, we analyze the effects of social security tax schemes, under various demographic assumptions, on capital accumulation, education expenditures, social welfare, and economic growth. We find that in many cases social security crowds out education, and reduces economic growth and social welfare.

JEL classification: D9 H2 I2
Key words: Social security education endogenous growth