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How Much Is Transfer and How Much Is Insurance in a Pay-As-You-Go System? The German Case


  • Borsch-Supan, Axel
  • Reil-Held, Anette


Pay-as-you-go pension systems provide insurance against longevity-related old-age poverty and related risks. They are commonly also used as instruments for redistribution. This paper provides several estimates of the insurance and transfer share of the German public pension system. Estimating these shares is important because they are indicative of taxation-related deadweight losses and influence public acceptance of the pension system. We also disentangle intragenerational from intergenerational transfers. Although our estimate of intragenerational transfers is smaller than recent semi-official estimations, such transfers create substantial deadweight losses. Intergenerational transfers are much larger, thereby contributing to strong negative participation incentives for the younger generation. Copyright 2001 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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  • Borsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette, 2001. " How Much Is Transfer and How Much Is Insurance in a Pay-As-You-Go System? The German Case," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(3), pages 505-524, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:103:y:2001:i:3:p:505-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vogel, Edgar & Ludwig, Alexander & Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2017. "Aging and pension reform: extending the retirement age and human capital formation," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 81-107, January.
    2. Kuhle, Wolfgang, 2012. "Dynamic efficiency and the two-part golden rule with heterogeneous agents," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 992-1006.
    3. Paulus, Alari & Sutherland, Holly & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2009. "The distributional impact of in kind public benefits in European countries," EUROMOD Working Papers EM10/09, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Gasche, Martin & Rausch, Johannes, 2012. "Auswirkungen einer Versicherungspflicht der Selbständigen in der Gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung," MEA discussion paper series 201212, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Cigno, Alessandro, 2008. "Is there a social security tax wedge," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 68-77, February.
    6. repec:mea:meawpa:12257 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yvonne Adema & Jan Bonenkamp & Lex Meijdam, 2016. "Flexible pension take-up in social security," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 316-342, April.
    8. Mauro Baranzini, 2005. "Modigliani's life-cycle theory of savings fifty years later," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(233-234), pages 109-172.
    9. Charlotte Bartels, 2012. "Redistribution and Insurance in the German Welfare State," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 132(2), pages 265-295.
    10. Tim Krieger & Stefan Traub, 2008. "Back to Bismarck? Shifting Preferences for Intragenerational Redistribution in OECD Pension Systems," Working Papers CIE 13, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    11. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2001. "Labor market effects of population aging," Papers 07-26, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    12. Stefan Traub & Tim Krieger, 2009. "Wie hat sich die intragenerationale Umverteilung in der staatlichen Säule des Rentensystems verändert? Ein internationaler Vergleich auf Basis von LIS-Daten," LIS Working papers 520, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    13. Amedeo Spadaro, 2008. "Optimal taxation, social contract and the four worlds of welfare capitalism," Working Papers 98, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    14. Mauro Baranzini, 2005. "Modigliani's life-cycle theory of savings fifty years later," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 58(233-234), pages 109-172.
    15. Börsch-Supan, A. & Härtl, K. & Leite, D.N., 2016. "Social Security and Public Insurance," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    16. Bönke, Timm & Kemptner, Daniel & Lüthen, Holger, 2016. "Effectiveness of early retirement disincentives: Individual welfare, distributional and fiscal implications," Discussion Papers 2016/2, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    17. repec:zbw:rwirep:0238 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Rob Alessie & Viola Angelini & Giacomo Pasini, 2014. "Is It True Love? Altruism Versus Exchange in Time and Money Transfers," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(2), pages 193-213, June.
    19. Axel H. Börsch-Supan, 2012. "Policy Mixes in the Current Pension Reform Process," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(4), pages 09-15, December.
    20. Jopp, Tobias Alexander, 2011. "Old Times, Better Times? German Miners' Knappschaften, Pay-as-you-go Pensions, and Implicit Rates of Return, 1854–1913," Ruhr Economic Papers 238, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    21. repec:sgh:gosnar:y:2017:i:4:p:63-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Kemptner, Daniel & Timm, Boenke & Holger, Luethen, 2014. "The introduction of disincentives for early retirement and its effect on labor market participation," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100446, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    23. Tobias A. Jopp, 2011. "Old Times, Better Times? German Miners’ Knappschaften, Pay-as-you-go Pensions, and Implicit Rates of Return, 1854–1913," Ruhr Economic Papers 0238, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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