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Pension reform and income inequality among the elderly in 15 European countries

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  • Van Vliet, Olaf
  • Been, Jim
  • Caminada, Koen
  • Goudswaard, Kees

Abstract

The ageing of populations and hampering economic growth increase pressure on public fi-nances in many advanced capitalist societies. Consequently, governments have adopted pen-sion reforms in order to relieve pressure on public finances. These reforms have contributed to a relative shift from public to private pension schemes. Since private social security plans are generally less redistributive than public social security, it can be hypothesized that the privatization of pension plans has led to higher levels of income inequality among the elderly. Existing empirical literature has mainly focused on cross-country comparisons at one moment in time or on time-series for a single country. This study contributes to the income inequality and pension literature by empirically analysing the distributional effects of shifts from public to private pension provision in 15 European countries for the period 1995-2007, using pooled time series cross-section regression analyses. Remarkably, we do not find empirical evidence that shifts from public to private pension provision lead to higher levels of income inequality or poverty among elderly people. The results appear to be robust for a wide range of econometric specifications.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32940.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32940

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Keywords: income inequality; pension reform; public/private-mix; retirement; welfare state;

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References

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  1. Anupam Nanda & Stephen Ross, 2012. "The Impact of Property Condition Disclosure Laws on Housing Prices: Evidence from an Event Study Using Propensity Scores," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 88-109, June.
  2. Arza, Camila, 2006. "Distributional Impacts of Pension Policy in Argentina," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(02), pages 467-472, June.
  3. Christian E. Weller, 2004. "The future of public pensions in the OECD," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 489-504, July.
  4. David I. Stern, 2005. "Reversal in the Trend of Global Anthropogenic Sulfur Emissions," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics 0504, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  5. Goudswaard, Kees & Caminada, Koen, 2008. "The redistributive impact of public and private social expenditure," MPRA Paper 20178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Kevin Milligan, 2008. "The Evolution of Elderly Poverty in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 79-94, November.
  7. Clarke, Philip M. & Fiebig, Denzil G. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2008. "Optimal recall length in survey design," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1275-1284, September.
  8. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  9. Wang, Chen & Caminada, Koen, 2011. "Disentangling income inequality and the redistributive effect of social transfers and taxes in 36 LIS countries," MPRA Paper 32821, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Caminada, Koen & Goudswaard, Kees, 2004. "Are public and private social expenditures complementary?," MPRA Paper 20179, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Andrzej Toroj, 2008. "Estimation of weights for the Monetary Conditions Index in Poland," Working Papers, Department of Applied Econometrics, Warsaw School of Economics 27, Department of Applied Econometrics, Warsaw School of Economics.
  12. Schirle, Tammy, 2009. "Income Inequality Among Seniors in Canada: The Role of Women's Labour Market Experience," CLSSRN working papers, Vancouver School of Economics clsrn_admin-2009-68, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Dec 2009.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kees Goudswaard & Olaf van Vliet & Jim Been & Koen Caminada, 2012. "Pensions and Income Inequality in Old Age," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(4), pages 21-26, December.
  2. Lindquist, Gabriella Sjögren & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2012. "Income Distribution among those of 65 Years and Older in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 6745, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Peeters, Marga, 2011. "“Better Safe than Sorry” - Individual Risk-free Pension Schemes in the European Union - Macroeconomic Benefits, the Mobile Working Citizen’s Perspective and Why Nots," MPRA Paper 33571, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Caminada, Koen & Goudswaard, Kees & Wang, Chen, 2012. "Disentangling income inequality and the redistributive effect of taxes and transfers in 20 LIS countries over time," MPRA Paper 42350, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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