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Funded Pensions and Unemployment


  • Roland Demmel
  • Christian Keuschnigg


Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pension schemes are becoming increasingly unsustainable in the face of drastic population aging. Simultaneously, the contribution rates may aggravate an already serious unemployment problem. A regime switch to a funded system could help to alleviate the unemployment problem in addition to restoring sustainability of social security. This paper asks how the transition to a partially funded system is implemented such that all generations may share in the efficiency gains from lower unemployment. We propose a welfare based transition scheme that cuts contributions to the PAYG system and uses public debt to compensate old generations for their previously acquired pension claims. Relying on an overlapping generations framework with union wage setting, we show that this reform reduces unemployment, boosts capital accumulation and yields welfare gains to present and future generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Demmel & Christian Keuschnigg, 2000. "Funded Pensions and Unemployment," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(1), pages 1-22, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200009)57:1_22:fpau_2.0.tx_2-h

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Transition from a pay-as-you-go to a fully funded pension system: The case of differing individuals and intragenerational fairness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 131-146, April.
    2. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 640-647.
    3. Homburg, Stefan & Richter, Wolfram, 1990. "Eine effizienzorientierte Reform der GRV," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 183-191..
    4. Keuschnigg, Christian, 1994. "Dynamic tax incidence and intergenerationally neutral reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 343-366, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric O'N. Fisher & Mark A. Roberts, 2002. "Funded Pensions, Labor Market Participation, and Economic Growth," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(3), pages 371-371, August.
    2. Kai A. Konrad & Gert Wagner, 2000. "Reform of the Public Pension System in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 200, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Marko Köthenbürger & Panu Poutvaara, 2002. "Social Security Reform and Intergenerational Trade: Is there Scope for a Pareto-Improvement?," CESifo Working Paper Series 795, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Antonis Adam & Thomas Moutos, 2009. "Pension Funding In A Unionized Economy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(2), pages 213-231, May.
    5. Walter Fisher & Christian Keuschnigg, 2010. "Pension reform and labor market incentives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 769-803, March.
    6. Keuschnigg, Christian & Fisher, Walter, 2011. "Life-Cycle Unemployment, Retirement and Parametric Pension Reform," Economics Working Paper Series 1119, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    7. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann & Fabian Kindermann, 2008. "Social Security with Rational and Hyperbolic Consumers," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 884-903, October.
    8. Christian Keuschnigg & Mirela Keuschnigg, 2004. "Aging, Labor Markets, and Pension Reform in Austria," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 359-359, September.
    9. Casamatta, Georges & De Paoli, Caroline, 2007. "Choosing the Legal Retirement Age in Presence of Unemployment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6263, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Tetsuo Ono, 2010. "Growth and unemployment in an OLG economy with public pensions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 737-767, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods


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