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The effects of social security privatization on household saving: evidence from the Chilean experience

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  • Julia Lynn Coronado
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    Abstract

    In recent years, a handful of countries have converted the financing of their social security systems from pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) to partial or full funding. Privatization is viewed as one way to insulate social security from the political and demographic pressures that currently threaten the financial stability of PAYGO systems. However, privatization would improve a nation's situation only if such a reform increases domestic saving. In this paper I use evidence from Chile, where social security was privatized in 1981, to assess the impact of such a reform on household saving rates. I find that the reform provided a significant stimulus for saving among higher income households, increasing their saving rates by more than seven percentage points. This increase in saving at the household level translates into an increase in national saving of more than two percent of GDP.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1998-12.

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    Date of creation: 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1998-12

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    Keywords: Social security ; Privatization ; Chile;

    References

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    1. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
    2. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1994. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Leimer, Dean R & Richardson, David H, 1992. "Social Security, Uncertainty Adjustments and the Consumption Decision," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 59(235), pages 311-35, August.
    4. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1979. "Testing the Theory of Social Security and Life Cycle Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 396-410, June.
    5. Sheldon Danziger & Jacques Van Der Gaag & Eugene Smolensky & Michael K. Taussig, 1983. "The Life-Cycle Hypothesis and the Consumption Behavior of the Elderly," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 5(2), pages 208-227, January.
    6. Randall P. Mariger, 1997. "Social security privatization: what it can and cannot accomplish," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
    8. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
    9. Bernheim, B. Douglas, 1987. "The economic effects of social security : Toward a reconciliation of theory and measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 273-304, August.
    10. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Working Papers 6055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:fth:inadeb:322 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Felipe Morandé, 1996. "Savings in Chile: What Went Right?," IDB Publications 5922, Inter-American Development Bank.
    13. Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "The Incidence of Payroll Taxation: Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 5053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Felipe G. Morandé, 1996. "Savings in Chile: What Went Right?," Research Department Publications 4030, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    15. Robert Holzmann, 1996. "Pension Reform, Financial Market Development, and Economic Growth," IMF Working Papers 96/94, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & King, Mervyn, 1984. "Pension wealth and household savings: Tests of robustness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 115-139.
    17. Feldstein, Martin, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 1-14, May.
    18. David Altig & Jagadeesh Gokhale, 1997. "Social Security privatization: a simple proposal," Working Paper 9703, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Andrea Butelmann & Francisco Gallego, 2001. "Estimaciones de los Determinantes del Ahorro Voluntario de los Hogares en Chile (1988 Y 1997)," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 97, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Andrea Butelmann P & Francisco Gallego, 2000. "Household Saving in Chile: Microeconomic Evidence," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 3(1), pages 5-24, April.
    3. Andrea Butelmann & Francisco Gallego, 2001. "Estimaciones de los determinantes del ahorro coluntario de los hogares en Chile (1988-1997)," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Felipe Morandé & Rodrigo Vergara & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Análisis Empírico del Ahorro en Chile, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 141-190 Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Andrea Repetto, 2001. "Incentivos al ahorro personal: Lecciones de la economía del comportamiento," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Felipe Morandé & Rodrigo Vergara & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Análisis Empírico del Ahorro en Chile, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 191-240 Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Andrea Butelmann & Francisco Gallego, 2001. "Household Saving in Chile (1988 and 1997): Testing the Life Cycle Hypothesis," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 38(113), pages 3-48.
    6. Herman Bennett & Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Heb, 2000. "Un Estudio del Ahorro Agregado por Agentes Económicos en Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 85, Central Bank of Chile.

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