International Tax and Public Finance

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 723–740 | Cite as

Optimal redistributive pensions and the cost of self-control



We examine how the introduction of self-control preferences influences the tradeoff between two fundamental components of a public pension system: the contribution rate and its degree of redistribution. The pension regime affects individuals’ welfare by altering how yielding to temptation (i.e., not saving, or saving less) is attractive. We show that proportional taxation increases the cost of self-control, and that this adverse effect is more acute when public pensions become more redistributive.


Taxation Redistribution Pensions Self-control 

JEL Classification

H55 H21 D03 



We thank Charles Bellemarre, Robin Boadway, Helmuch Cremer, Sean Horan, Sumon Majumdar, Pierre-Carl Michaud, Marie-Louise Vierø, Tim Worall, Pierre-Yves Yanni, seminar participants at Université Laval and two anonymous referees for their suggestions and comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant
    • 1
  • Jean-Denis Garon
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for New Economic ThinkingNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Département des sciences économiquesUniversité du Québec à Montréal and CESIfo.MontréalCanada

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