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Old times, better times? German miners' Knappschaften , pay-as-you-go pensions, and implicit rates of return, 1854--1913

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  • Tobias A. Jopp

Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on the weakness of modern pay-as-you-go social security systems in financing pensions by taking a business and economic historical perspective on the issue. It focuses on Prussian Knappschaften (plural of Knappschaft ), which provided miners with compulsory invalidity and implicit old-age insurance, and studies the period from 1854 to 1913. Knappschaften used the pay-as-you-go mechanism, and, in the long term, came under financial pressure from the rising number of pensioners. The question to be answered is whether Knappschaften were able to offer cohorts of miners entering the system at different times the same implicit rates of return. Did Knappschaften provide an intergenerationally sustainable policy, or did adjustments of contributions and other parameters decrease the dividend for insured miners over time?

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias A. Jopp, 2011. "Old times, better times? German miners' Knappschaften , pay-as-you-go pensions, and implicit rates of return, 1854--1913," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(7), pages 1018-1043, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:53:y:2011:i:7:p:1018-1043 DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2011.582575
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lehmann-Hasemeyer, Sibylle & Streb, Jochen, 2017. "Does Social Security crowd out Private Savings? The Case of Bismarck’s System of Social Insurance," IBF Paper Series 06-17, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.

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