Defined Benefit Pension Schemes: A Welfare Analysis of Risk Sharing and Labour Market Distortions
AbstractThis CPB Discussion Paper addresses two policy questions with respect to public defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. Firstly, does a funded DB pension scheme increase welfare? Secondly, how large is the commitment problem of pension funds after an adverse capital market shock? This CPB Discussion Paper addresses two policy questions with respect to public defined benefit (DB) pension schemes: Firstly, does a funded DB pension scheme increase welfare? In other words: do the gains from intergenerational sharing of capital market risks outweigh the labour market distortions from pension schemes? Secondly, how large is the commitment problem of pension funds after an adverse capital market shock? The answer to the first question depends on the used welfare measure. If we use risk-neutral weights to aggregate the equivalent variations of different generations in different states of nature then a DB pension scheme is welfare increasing. If we use as weights the stochastic discount factors that corresponds to these states of nature, we conclude the opposite: a DB pension scheme reduces welfare. The probability that future households actually experience a welfare gain if the pension scheme is closed can be as large as 38 percent. So, a pure DB pension scheme has a large commitment problem: continuity will become at risk in case participation in the pension scheme is not mandatory. These results are most sensitive for the values of the labour supply elasticity, the risk aversion parameter and the mean and the standard deviation of the excess return on equity.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 177.
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-04-16 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- van Ewijk, Casper & de Groot, Henri L.F. & Santing, A.J. (Coos), 2012.
"A meta-analysis of the equity premium,"
Journal of Empirical Finance,
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- Casper van Ewijk & C. Santing, 2010. "A meta-analysis of the equity premium," CPB Discussion Paper 156, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
- Casper van Ewijk & Henri L.F. de Groot & Coos Santing, 2010. "A Meta-Analysis of the Equity Premium," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-078/3, Tinbergen Institute.
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