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Longevity, life-cycle behavior and pension reform

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  • Haan, Peter
  • Prowse, Victoria

Abstract

How can public pension systems be reformed to ensure fiscal stability in the face of increasing life expectancy? To address this question, we use micro data to estimate a structural life-cycle model of individuals’ employment, retirement and consumption decisions. We calculate that, in the case of Germany, an increase of 3.76 years in the pension age thresholds or a cut of 26.8% in the per-year value of public pension benefits would offset the fiscal consequences of the increase in life expectancy anticipated to occur over the next 40 years. On average, individuals value the increase in the pension age thresholds at 3.44% of baseline consumption, and are willing to forgo 8.51% of baseline consumption to avoid the cut in per-year pension value. The increase in the pension age thresholds makes 87.7% of individuals better-off, and generates large responses in labor supply and retirement behavior. However, the favorable effects of this reform depend on the availability of jobs for older individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Haan, Peter & Prowse, Victoria, 2014. "Longevity, life-cycle behavior and pension reform," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P3), pages 582-601.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:178:y:2014:i:p3:p:582-601
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2013.08.038
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    Keywords

    Life expectancy; Public pension reform; Retirement; Employment; Life-cycle models; Consumption; Tax and transfer system;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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