Research and Analysis by Sheng Cheng Hu

Value-Added Tax as a Source of Social Security Financing
ORES Working Paper No. 23 (released September 1981)
by Sheng Cheng Hu

The data for this study are drawn mainly from the Consumer Expenditure Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics during 1972–73. The respondents are divided into five income classes and two age groups. The focus of this analysis is placed on the consumption-type value-added tax.

Optimal and Majority-Voting Equilibrium Levels of Social Security
ORES Working Paper No. 13 (released January 1980)
by Sheng Cheng Hu

In the recent economic literature on social security, much attention has been focused on its welfare implications (e.g., Samuelson [1975]), and its impacts on individual retirement decisions (e.g., Boskin [1977]), Sheshinski [1978], Diamond and Mirrlees [1978]) and capital accumulation (e.g., Feldstein [1974], Munnell [1974], and Kotlikoff [1979]). In all these works, the level of social security is assumed to be exogenous although it is often determined in the real world by the desire of the majority of voters and thus is an endogenous variable of the economic system. While Browning [1975] and Hu [1978] did consider the determination of social security by a majority-voting process, they used the partial-equilibrium approaches in the sense that wages and the interest rate were assumed exogenous and independent of social security. The present paper constructs a simple three-period life-cycle model in which social security is determined by the majority-voting process, and the rate of interest by the demand for and supply of capital. In this framework, the tax rate voted by each person depends on the market rate of interest, which in turn is affected by the prevailing tax rate. It is assumed that social security is financed by a pay-as-you-go plan.