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Pensions as a portfolio problem: fixed contribution rates vs. fixed replacement rates reconsidered

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  • Andreas Wagener

Abstract

Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pension schemes can contribute to better intergenerational risk-sharing and diversification. However, different variants of PAYG schemes entail different properties in these respects. In a stochastic 2-OLG model we compare PAYG schemes with fixed contribution rates and such with fixed replacement rates. The literature has shown that the former are preferable to the later from an ex ante perspective. We derive the opposite result for the ex post perspective. Here, schemes with fixed replacement rates are unambiguously preferable: they enhance intergenerational risk-sharing, lead to a higher savings and higher utility levels. We further show that, from an ex ante (veil-of-ignorance), perspective both schemes are non-comparable if the effect that fixed-replacement schemes serve as an insurance device for old-age income is properly accounted for. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Wagener, 2003. "Pensions as a portfolio problem: fixed contribution rates vs. fixed replacement rates reconsidered," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(1), pages 111-134, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:16:y:2003:i:1:p:111-134
    DOI: 10.1007/s001480100115
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s001480100115
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cigno, Alessandro, 2006. "The political economy of intergenerational cooperation," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
    2. Masatoshi Jinno, 2013. "The impact of immigration under the defined-benefit pension system," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(21), pages 613-636, March.
    3. Wagener, Andreas, 2004. "On intergenerational risk sharing within social security schemes," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 181-206, March.
    4. Matsen, Egil & Thogersen, Oystein, 2004. "Designing social security - a portfolio choice approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 883-904, August.
    5. Hans Fehr & Christian Habermann, 2008. "Risk Sharing and Efficiency Implications of Progressive Pension Arrangements," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(2), pages 419-443, June.
    6. Corsini, Lorenzo & Spataro, Luca, 2013. "Savings for retirement under liquidity constraints: A note," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(2), pages 258-261.
    7. Zamac , Jovan, 2005. "Winners and Losers from a Demographic Shock under Different Intergenerational Transfer Schemes," Working Paper Series 2005:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:onb:oenbwp:y::i:146:b:1 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lorenzo Corsini & Luca Spataro, 2015. "Optimal Decisions on Pension Plans in the Presence of Information Costs and Financial Literacy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(3), pages 383-414, June.
    10. Luciano Fanti, 2012. "PAYG pensions and fertility drop: some (pleasant) arithmetic," Discussion Papers 2012/147, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Lucas Bretschger & Karen Pittel, 2005. "Innovative Investments, Natural Resources and Intergenerational Fairness: Are Pension Funds Good for Sustainable Development?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(III), pages 355-376, September.
    14. 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.
    15. Jovan Zamac, 2005. "Pension Design when Fertility Fluctuates: The Role of Capital Mobility and Education Financing," CESifo Working Paper Series 1569, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Knell, Markus, 2010. "How automatic adjustment factors affect the internal rate of return of PAYG pension systems," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 1-23, January.
    17. De Menil, Georges & Murtin, Fabrice & Sheshinski, Eytan & Yokossi, Tite, 2016. "A rational, economic model of paygo tax rates," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 55-72.
    18. Simonovits, András, 2003. "Öregedő népesség, medián választó és a jóléti állam mérete
      [Ageing population, the median voter and the size of the welfare state]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(10), pages 835-854.
    19. Zamac, Jovan, 2007. "Pension design when fertility fluctuates: The role of education and capital mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 619-639, April.
    20. Adema, Y., 2008. "The international spillover effects of ageing and pensions," Other publications TiSEM 8132ca3c-53e5-493c-b6e8-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    JEL classification. H55; G11; D63; Key words. Social security; risk sharing; diversification;

    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
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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