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Working Paper

Voting on Social Security: Evidence from OECD Countries

This article tests the subset of public choice models for social security that have empirical implications. The data, collected from OECD countries for the years 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990, provide some support for each of the theories. Higher median voter age, more income heterogeneity, greater similarity in family size, and variables that make a public pension program more profitable are all associated with a larger program. However, none of the theories explains why the shape of the age distribution and the time trend are so important. The results are robust under both fixed-effects and random-effects estimation.

Working Papers of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland are preliminary materials circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment on research in progress. They may not have been subject to the formal editorial review accorded official Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland publications. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland or the Federal Reserve System.

Suggested Citation

Breyer, Friedrich, and Ben R. Craig. 1995. “Voting on Social Security: Evidence from OECD Countries.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 95-11.