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Konjunktur und Rentenversicherung - gegenseitige Abhängigkeiten und mögliche Veränderungen durch diskretionäre Maßnahmen

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Author Info

  • Volker Meinhardt

    ()

  • Katja Rietzler

    ()

  • Rudolf Zwiener

    ()
    (Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) at Hans Boeckler Foundation, Duesseldorf)

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    Abstract

    The study provides an empirical analysis of the effects of cyclical fluctuations - including those of the current economic crisis - on revenues and expenditures of the German public pay-as-you-go pension system on the one hand. On the other hand the pension reforms of the most recent decade are scrutinised in terms of their repercussions on the business cycle. Special emphasis is placed on the gradual reduction of the public pension level and the subsidisation of private fully funded so-called "Riester" pension schemes. For the analysis the authors develop an econometric model of the public pension system and integrate it into the IMK's existing macro model of the German economy. The analysis shows several weaknesses of the current public pension formula. Firstly, it should not include the effects of short-time working on the aggregate of gross wages and salaries per employee. Otherwise the current extensive use of short-time working to avoid unemployment will first reduce pensions and then raise them again. Secondly, the time lag between cyclical changes and their repercussions on the expenditures of the pension system could be further increased to improve the stabilising effects of the pension system on the business cycle. And thirdly, the pension system's provisions for revenue fluctuations should be raised in order to avoid increasing contributions in a severe and protracted crisis. A separate section of the study deals with the cyclical effects of private households' increased savings for old age. To a significant extent the increase of the savings ratio since the beginning of this decade is due to the "Riester" reforms and has retarded growth and employment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute in its series IMK Studies with number 03-2009.

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    Length: 91 pages
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imk:studie:03-2009

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    References

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    1. Robert Holzmann, 1997. "Fiscal Alternatives of Moving from Unfunded to Funded Pensions," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 126, OECD Publishing.
    2. Glatzer, Ernst & Dirschmid, Werner, 2004. "Determinants of the Household Saving Rate in Austria," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 4, pages 25–38.
    3. Florian Pelgrin & Alain de Serres, 2003. "The Decline in Private Saving Rates in the 1990s in OECD Countries: How Much Can Be Explained by Non-wealth Determinants?," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(1), pages 117-153.
    4. Andrew A. Samwick, 2000. "Is Pension Reform Conducive to Higher Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 264-272, May.
    5. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Schmidt-Hebbel, Klaus, 1995. "Pension reform and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1471, The World Bank.
    6. Sergio Cesaratto, 2006. "Transition to fully funded pension schemes: a non-orthodox criticism," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(1), pages 33-48, January.
    7. Coronado, Julie L. & Engen, Eric M. & Knight, Brian, 2003. "Public Funds and Private Capital Markets: The Investment Practices and Performance of State and Local Pension Funds," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(3), pages 579-94, September.
    8. Volker Meinhardt, 1997. "Vereinigungsfolgen belasten Sozialversicherung," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 64(40), pages 725-729.
    9. Tim Callen & Christian Thimann, 1997. "Empirical Determinants of Household Saving - Evidence from OECD Countries," IMF Working Papers 97/181, International Monetary Fund.
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