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Savings: The Policy Debate in Europe

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  • Börsch-Supan, Axel

    ()
    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Brugiavini, Agar

    ()
    (University Ca`Foscari)

Abstract

Three issues dominate the political debate over savings in Europe: First, can private savings substitute for public pensions in the provision of retirement income, given that the current generosity of pay-as-you-go financed pensions is hardly sustainable in the light of population ageing? And if so, which policy steps have to be taken to alleviate this transition? Will there be sufficient saving? Which side effects are to be expected? The second recurrent issue concerns the evolution of a 'new financial landscape' in Europe that might necessitate policy response in terms of taxation and regulation. Specifically, how should pensions be taxed and regulated? A third closely related and hotly debated issue is harmonisation: How much harmonisation of pensions and, more generally, capital taxation is necessary in the process of European integration? The paper discusses these issues from a Continental European point of view. Our main task is to collect and review the pieces of economic theory and empirical evidence that are at our disposal in order to make informed policy choices; however, we also try to identify the gaps in our theoretical and empirical knowledge in order to caution against overly strong policy recommendations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 01-14.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 13 Nov 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:01-14

Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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References

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  1. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2000. "The German Savings Puzzle," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-07, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  2. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Tumbarello, Patrizia & Palacios, Robert, 1999. "Pension systems in the Middle East and North Africa: A window of opportunity," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-44, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Weil, David N., 1989. "The baby boom, the baby bust, and the housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 235-258, May.
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  5. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1992. "Saving and Consumption Patterns of the Elderly: The German Case," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 289-303.
  6. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Winter, Joachim, 1999. "Pension reform, savings behavior and corporate governance," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-48, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  7. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "A Model under Siege: A Case Study of the German Retirement Insurance System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F24-45, February.
  8. Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2002. "Pension reform, capital markets, and the rate of return," MEA discussion paper series 02023, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
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  19. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Spivak, Avia, 1981. "The Family as an Incomplete Annuities Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 372-91, April.
  20. Luigi Guiso & Tullio Jappelli, 2000. "Household Portfolios in Italy," CSEF Working Papers 43, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  21. Brugiavini, A. & Weber, G., 1992. "Durables and Nondurables Consumption: Edidence from Italian Household Data," Papers 184, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  22. Hayashi, Fumio & Ito, Takatoshi & Slemrod, Joel, 1988. "Housing finance imperfections, taxation, and private saving: A comparative simulation analysis of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 215-238, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Axel Boersch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2001. "Aging and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 8553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Axel Boersch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig, 2005. "Aging, pension reform, and capital flows: A multi-country simulation model," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 123, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2004. "Mind the Gap: The Effectiveness of Incentives to boost Retirement Saving in Europe," MEA discussion paper series 04052, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  4. Van de Ven, Justin, 2011. "Do Defined Contribution Pensions Correct for Short-Sighted Savings Decisions? Evidence from the UK," Papers WP399, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  5. Lothar Essig, 2002. "Stockholding in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 02019, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  6. Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner R�ger, 2003. "Economic and financial market consequences of ageing populations," European Economy - Economic Papers 182, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. Brigitte Granville & Sushanta Mallick, 2004. "Pension reforms and saving gains in the United Kingdom," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 123-136.
  8. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2004. "MIND THE GAP: The Effectiveness of Incentives to Boost Retirement Saving in Europe," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-27, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.

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