IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Distributive Properties of Pensions Systems: A Simulation of the Italian Transition from Defined Benefit to Notional Defined Contribution


  • Margherita Borella

    () (University of Turin and CeRP - Collegio Carlo Alberto)

  • Flavia Coda Moscarola

    () (University of Turin and CeRP - Collegio Carlo Alberto)


We analyse the distribution of pension benefits induced by pension systems moving from a defined benefit formula to a notional defined contribution one. We focus on the reforms that took place in Italy between 1992 and 2004, differently affecting various cohorts of workers. We develop a micro-simulation model that enables to compute pension benefits for heterogeneous individuals belonging to different cohorts, according to pre- and post-reform rules. We find that the defined benefit system is highly redistributive along many dimensions, not just earnings. With the phasing in of the NDC system, redistribution in all dimensions is gradually reduced.

Suggested Citation

  • Margherita Borella & Flavia Coda Moscarola, 2006. "Distributive Properties of Pensions Systems: A Simulation of the Italian Transition from Defined Benefit to Notional Defined Contribution," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 65(1), pages 95-126, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v65_n1_p95-126

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Coronado Julia Lynn & Fullerton Don & Glass Thomas, 2011. "The Progressivity of Social Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-45, November.
    2. Agar Brugiavini, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 181-237 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura, 1999. "On the Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 498-531, July.
    4. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security and Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119.
    5. Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 635-666.
    6. Cathal O'Donoghue, 2001. "Dynamic Microsimulation: A Methodological Survey," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 4(2), December.
    7. Margerita Borella, 2004. "The distributional impact of pension system reforms: an application to the Italian case," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(4), pages 415-437, December.
    8. Carlo Bianchi & Marzia Romanelli & Pietro A. Vagliasindi, 2003. "Microsimulating the Evolution of Italian Pension Benefits: the Role of Retirement Choices and Lowest Pensions Indexing," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(SpecialIs), pages 139-173, August.
    9. Castellino, Onorato, 1995. "Redistribution between and within generations in the Italian social security system," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 317-327, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Flavia Coda Moscarola & Elsa Fornero & Steinar Strøm, 2016. "Absenteeism, childcare and the effectiveness of pension reforms," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    2. Flavia Coda Moscarola & Margherita Borella, 2015. "The 2011 Pension Reform in Italy and its Effects on Current and Future Retirees," CeRP Working Papers 151, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).

    More about this item


    public pensions; redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v65_n1_p95-126. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Erika Somma). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.