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Who Benefits from Public Old Age Pensions? Evidence from a Targeted Program

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  • Elliott Fan

Abstract

Given the aging of the population, policies relating to the design and reform of public pension programs are prominent in policy debates. For many developing countries, a major concern centers around the possible displacement of traditional family-based support by public programs. One challenge in estimating this displacement, or crowding out, is the endogeneity of social security benefits-the incidence and size of benefits may be correlated with unobserved determinants of private transfers, especially if benefits are means tested. Using two rich data sets, this article explores the impact of the Taiwanese Farmers' Pension Program (FPP) on recipients and their noncohabiting adult children. The FPP is targeted at elderly farmers and has relatively clean, exogenous rules for eligibility that allow the endogeneity problem to be addressed. Estimates from multiple identification strategies consistently imply that 1 dollar of pension crowds out 30-39 cents of private transfers received by the elderly. Mirroring these results, the pension also reduces the probability that the recipients' children make transfers to their parents. Further, the pension increases both the recipients' and their children's consumption, thus providing direct evidence of an improvement in the well-being of pensioners' offspring. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Elliott Fan, 2010. "Who Benefits from Public Old Age Pensions? Evidence from a Targeted Program," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 297-322, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:58:y:2010:i:2:p:297-322
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Juarez & Tobias Pfutze, 2015. "The Effects of a Noncontributory Pension Program on Labor Force Participation: The Case of 70 y Más in Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(4), pages 685-713.
    2. Rosangela Bando & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2016. "The Effects of Non-Contributory Pensions on Material and Subjective Well Being," NBER Working Papers 22995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kaushal, Neeraj, 2014. "How Public Pension affects Elderly Labor Supply and Well-being: Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 214-225.
    4. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2015. "Benefit incidence with incentive effects, measurement errors and latent heterogeneity: A case study for China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 124-132.
    5. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2013. "Benefit incidence with incentive effects, measurement errors and latent heterogeneity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6573, The World Bank.
    6. Hungerman, Daniel M., 2014. "Public goods, hidden income, and tax evasion: Some nonstandard results from the warm-glow model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 188-202.
    7. Independent Evaluation Group, 2014. "Social Safety Nets and Gender : Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21365, April.

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