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Savings: the policy debate in Europe

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  • A Börsch-Supan
  • A Brugiavini

Abstract

Three issues dominate the public policy debate over savings in Continental Europe. First, can private savings substitute for public pensions in the provision of retirement income, given that the current generosity of pay-as-you-go financed pensions is hardly sustainable in the light of population ageing? And if so, which policy steps have to be taken to alleviate this transition? Second, does the evolution of a 'new financial landscape' in Europe necessitate policy response in terms of taxation and regulation, specifically considering the increase in pension funds? And third, closely related to the other two issues, is there too much or too little saving in an ageing Europe? Will pension reform and the new financial landscape increase or decrease overall saving? Do we need to subsidize saving more or less than we currently do? The paper reviews economic theory and empirical evidence on these intertwined issues. Most importantly, it identifies many gaps in our theoretical and empirical knowledge that caution us against overly strong policy recommendations. Copyright 2001, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 17 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 116-143

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:116-143

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Cited by:
  1. Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2003. "Aging, pension reform, and capital flows: A multi-country simulation model," MEA discussion paper series 03028, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  2. Axel Boersch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2001. "Aging and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 8553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2004. "MIND THE GAP: The Effectiveness of Incentives to Boost Retirement Saving in Europe," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-27, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  4. Brigitte Granville & Sushanta Mallick, 2004. "Pension reforms and saving gains in the United Kingdom," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 123-136.
  5. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2004. "Mind the Gap: The Effectiveness of Incentives to boost Retirement Saving in Europe," MEA discussion paper series 04052, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  6. Lothar Essig, 2002. "Stockholding in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 02019, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  7. Van de Ven, Justin, 2011. "Do Defined Contribution Pensions Correct for Short-Sighted Savings Decisions? Evidence from the UK," Papers WP399, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  8. Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner R�ger, 2003. "Economic and financial market consequences of ageing populations," European Economy - Economic Papers 182, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.

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