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Pension wealth and household saving: evidence from pension reforms in the UK

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  • Orazio Attanasio

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

  • Susanne Rohwedder

Abstract

Using three major UK pension reforms as natural experiments we investigate the relationship between pension saving and discretionary private savings. Unlike most differences-in -differences approaches which rely on average differences between the control and the treatment group, we use economic theory to model the response of each individual household. The model permits us to use both time- series and cross-sectional variation in a consistent way to identify the behavioural response. The study is based on data from the Family Expenditure Survey. A measure of pension wealth is not observed, but we estimate it by applying the rules of the pension system to observed individual characteristics. The changes in pension wealth as a result of the reforms are substantial. The empirical analysis suggests that the earnings -related tier of the pension scheme has a negative impact on private savings with substitution elasticities approaching –1.0. The impact of the flat-rate tier of the scheme is found not to be significantly different from zero.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W01/21.

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Length: 34 pp
Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:01/21

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  1. Dilnot, Andrew & Disney, Richard & Johnson, Paul & Whitehouse, Edward, 1994. "Pensions policy in the UK: An economic analysis," MPRA Paper 10478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Mervyn A. King & Louis Dicks-Mireaux, 1981. "Asset Holdings and the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 0614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James Banks & Carl Emmerson, 2000. "Public and private pension spending: principles, practice and the need for reform," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 1-63, March.
  4. King, M A & Dicks-Mireaux, L-D L, 1982. "Asset Holdings and the Life-Cycle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 247-67, June.
  5. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  6. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale, 1997. "Effects of Social Security reform on private and national saving," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 41(Jun), pages 103-142.
  7. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  8. Jappelli, Tullio, 1995. "Does social security reduce the accumulation of private wealth? Evidence from Italian survey data," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-31, March.
  9. William G. Gale, 1998. "The Effects of Pensions on Household Wealth: A Reevaluation of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 706-723, August.
  10. R Disney & C Emmerson & M Wakefield, 2001. "Pension reform and saving in Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 70-94, Spring.
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Cited by:
  1. Niklas Potrafke, 2007. "Social Security in Germany: A Prey of Political Opportunism?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 677, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Maarten van Rooij & Clemens Kool & Henri�tte Prast, 2005. "Risk-return preferences in the pension domain: are people able to choose?," DNB Working Papers 025, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  3. Adeline Delavande & Susann Rohwedder, 2008. "Individuals’ Responses to Social Security Reform," Working Papers wp182, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Kitao, Sagiri, 2009. "Labor supply elasticity and social security reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 867-878, August.
  5. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire & Walsh, John R., 2009. "Pension Policy: New Evidence on Key Issues," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS14, September.
  6. Thomas F. Crossley & Hamish W. Low, 2005. "Borrowing Constraints, the Cost of Precautionary Saving, and Unemployment Insurance," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 125, McMaster University.
  7. Garry F. Barrett & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2008. "Retirement Saving in Australia," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 177-193, November.
  8. P.-O. Beffy & B. Monfort, 2003. "Household wealth, portfolio selection and consumption behavior," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2003-08, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  9. Werner Dirschmid & Ernst Glatzer, 2004. "Determinants of the Household Saving Rate in Austria," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 25–38.
  10. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2005. "Retirement Expectations, Pension Reforms and Their Effect on Private Wealth Accumulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Viola Angelini & Peter Simmons, . "Housing Debt, Employment Risk and Consumption," Discussion Papers 05/07, Department of Economics, University of York.

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