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The Optimal Mix Between Funded and Unfunded Pension Systems When People Care About Relative Consumption




The paper studies the optimal portfolio mix between funded and unfunded pension systems when people care about relative consumption. In pay-as-you-go systems with fixed contribution rates, pensions are tied to wages. This lowers the uncertainty of individuals' future relative position thereby increasing the attractiveness of unfunded systems. The paper shows analytically that the optimal share of funding decreases with the importance of relative standing. A calibrated version of the model suggests that the concern for relative standing has also a quantitatively important impact on the optimal share of funding. For reasonable assumptions it is typically around 20%. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2010.

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  • Markus Knell, 2010. "The Optimal Mix Between Funded and Unfunded Pension Systems When People Care About Relative Consumption," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(308), pages 710-733, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:77:y:2010:i:308:p:710-733

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Meijdam, A.C. & Ponds, E.H.M., 2013. "On the Optimal Degree Of Funding Of Public Sector Pension Plans," Discussion Paper 2013-011, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Eduardo Fajnzylber & David Robalino, 2010. "Assessing Fiscal Costs and the Distribution of Pensions in Transitions to FDC and NDC Systems: A Retrospective Analysis for Chile," Working Papers wp_005, Adolfo Ibáñez University, School of Government.
    3. Bilancini, Ennio & D’Antoni, Massimo, 2012. "The desirability of pay-as-you-go pensions when relative consumption matters and returns are stochastic," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 418-422.
    4. Du Caicai & Muysken Joan & Sleijpen Olaf, 2011. "Lessons from the financial crisis: Funded pension funds should invest conservatively," Research Memorandum 020, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    5. Emin Gahramanov & Xueli Tang, 2013. "Should We Refinance Unfunded Social Security?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(319), pages 532-565, July.
    6. Aronsson, Thomas & Mannberg, Andrea, 2015. "Relative consumption of housing: Marginal saving subsidies and income taxes as a second-best policy?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 439-450.
    7. Alonso-García, J. & Devolder, P., 2016. "Optimal mix between pay-as-you-go and funding for DC pension schemes in an overlapping generations model," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 224-236.
    8. Knell, Markus, 2013. "The Intergenerational Distribution of Demographic Fluctuations in Unfunded and Funded Pension Systems," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79830, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General


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