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Annuity Markets, Savings, and the Capital Stock

In: Issues in Pension Economics

Author

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  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff
  • John B. Shoven
  • Avia Spivak

Abstract

This article examines how the availability of annuities affects savings and inequality in economies in which neither private nor public pensions initially exist. The absence of widespread market or government annuity insurance is clearly descriptive of many less developed countries in the world today; it was also a characteristic of virtually all countries prior to World War II. The paper compares economies with perfect insurance with economies in which completely selfish parents and children pool longevity risk to their mutual advantage. The analysis of the latter economies takes into account the infinite sequence of risk sharing bargains of successive parents with their children. Such bargains affect current risk sharing between parents and child because they determine the welfare of current children when they become parents. Calculations based on the CBS utility function indicate that perfecting annuity insurance can significantly reduce national savings. Indeed, the insurance aspects of government pensions are potentially as important as underfunding government pensions in reducing national savings.
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Suggested Citation

  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John B. Shoven & Avia Spivak, 1987. "Annuity Markets, Savings, and the Capital Stock," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 211-236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:6860
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
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    8. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-732, August.
    9. Eytan Sheshinski & Yoram Weiss, 1981. "Uncertainty and Optimal Social Security Systems," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 96(2), pages 189-206.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
    2. Michael D. Hurd, 1989. "The Poverty of Widows: Future Prospects," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Aging, pages 201-230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
    4. Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "The Contribution of Intergenerational Transfers to Total Wealth: A Reply," NBER Working Papers 1827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John B. Shoven & Avia Spivak, 1984. "The Impact of Annuity Insurance on Savings and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 1403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Benjamin M. Friedman & Mark Warshawsky, 1988. "Annuity Prices and Saving Behavior in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 53-84, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michael D. Hurd, 1989. "Issues and Results from Research on the Elderly I: Economic Status (Part I of III Parts)," NBER Working Papers 3018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Skinner, Jonathan, 1988. "Risky income, life cycle consumption, and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 237-255, September.
    10. Sven H. Sinclair & Kent A. Smetters, 2004. "Health Shocks and the Demand for Annuities: Technical Paper 2004-09," Working Papers 15868, Congressional Budget Office.
    11. Hugo Benitez-Silva, 2000. "A Dynamic Model of Labor Supply, Consumption/Saving, and Annuity Decisions under Uncertainty," Department of Economics Working Papers 00-06, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    12. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1984. "'Precautionary' Saving Revisited: Social Security, Individual Welfare, and the Capital Stock," NBER Working Papers 1430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Marco Magnani, 2020. "Precautionary retirement and precautionary saving," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 49-77, January.
    14. Engen, Eric M. & Gruber, Jonathan, 2001. "Unemployment insurance and precautionary saving," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 545-579, June.
    15. Kevin J. Mumford, 2007. "The Optimal Tax Treatment of Families with Children," Discussion Papers 06-020, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    16. Hugo Benítez-Silva, 2003. "The Annuity Puzzle Revisited," Working Papers wp055, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

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