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Pension reform, assets returns and wealth distribution

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  • Falilou Fall

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    (EUREQua)

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    Abstract

    In OLG framework, it is generally admitted that PAYG pension system generates a lower capital accumulation, a higher level of interest rate but is more inequality reducing. By taking into account different assets returns and unequal access to them, we find that the PAYG pension system generates lower level of interest rate and increases wealth inequality. By using Matsuyama's (2000) technology that generates dynamic endogenous inequality, we represent the bequest and saving behaviour of the agents in an OLG model. This allows us to characterize the optimal investment choice of agents across two assets as a function of their initial endowment and a unique inheritance threshold depending on the equilibrium interest rate. This inheritance threshold divides the population into two categories : the rich-borrowers and the poor-lenders. In this context, we find that, the effect of increasing the contribution rate to the pension system is to increase inequality. Indeed, it increases the number of constrained agents and decreases the equilibrium interest rate. More the initial wealth distribution is egalitarian, more these effects are amplified. As the interest rate is the lending rate of poor-constrained agents, they lose from the reform while unconstrained-rich agents benefit from the reform since the decrease of the interest rate increases the net return of their investment. Unconstrained-rich agents benefit from the reform at the expense of constrained-poor agents.

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    File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/cahiers2004/V04033.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1) in its series Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques with number v04033.

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    Length: 19 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v04033

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    Keywords: Pension reform; inequality; incomplete markets; savings; wealth distribution.;

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    References

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    1. Angus Deaton & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Social Security and Inequality over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    3. Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Redistribution in the Current U.S. Social Security System," NBER Working Papers 8625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Luisa Fuster, 1999. "Is Altruism Important for Understanding the Long-Run Effects of Social Security?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 616-637, July.
    5. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2000. "How Effective is Redistribution Under the Social Security Benefit Formula?," NBER Working Papers 7597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Krüger, Dirk & Kubler, Felix, 2005. "Pareto Improving Social Security Reform when Financial Markets Are Incomplete," CEPR Discussion Papers 5039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Luis Cubeddu, 2000. "Intragenerational Redistribution in Unfunded Pension Systems," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(1), pages 4.
    8. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Hairault, Jean-Olivier & Langot, Francois, 2008. "Inequality and social security reforms," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 386-410, February.
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