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Living Standards in Retirement: Accepted International Comparisons are Misleading

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  • Joachim R. Frick
  • Bruce Headey

Abstract

Accepted international assessments of living standards in retirement rely on comparing social pension incomes. These assessments conclude that European countries with contributory pension schemes provide retirees with higher living standards than liberal Anglo-American regimes in which many citizens rely on flat rate old age pensions. Comparisons based solely on pension incomes are potentially misleading because the living standards of retirees depend on their total economic resources, particularly their wealth. In this paper we make use of the wealth data in the German (SOEP) and Australian (HILDA) panels. Our revised ‘present value’ estimates of wealth suggest that Australian and German retirees have approximately the same living standards (mean and median), with much the same distribution (Gini).

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3790/schm.129.2.309
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Duncker & Humblot, Berlin in its journal Schmollers Jahrbuch.

Volume (Year): 129 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 309-319

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Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v129_y2009_i1_q1_p309-319

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Cited by:
  1. Mathä, Thomas Y. & Porpiglia, Alessandro & Sierminska, Eva, 2011. "The immigrant/native wealth gap in Germany, Italy and Luxembourg," Working Paper Series 1302, European Central Bank.
  2. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel, 2010. "Multidimensional Measurement of Richness: Theory and an Application to Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 295, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel, 2011. "Multidimensional affluence: Theory and applications to Germany and the US," Working Papers 218, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

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