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Fertility, Dependency and Social Security

  • Patricia Apps
  • Ray Rees

A subject of considerable policy concern is the problem presented by declining fertility rates for social security systems in general and Pay-As-You-Go pension schemes in particular. Solutions proposed range from complete privatisation of the pensions system, through supplementary private tax-advantaged savings schemes, to "parametric reform" of the existing schemes, involving increases in contribution rates and retirement ages, and reductions in the real value of benefit levels. This paper argues that the sense of crisis generated by looking only at the Aged Dependency Ratio is exaggerated. Moreover, we should look at what appears to be the root cause of the problem, the apparently inverse relationship between female labour force participation and fertility. A solution to the problem can be found in policies that allow an increase in female labour supply and fertility simultaneously.

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File URL: https://www.cbe.anu.edu.au/researchpapers/cepr/DP462.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 462.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:462
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  1. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  2. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1993. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2000. "Why a Funded Pension System is Useful and Why It is Not Useful," Munich Reprints in Economics 19859, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Disney, Richard, 2000. "Crises in Public Pension Programmes in OECD: What Are the Reform Options?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F1-23, February.
  5. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 1999. "On the taxation of trade within and between households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 241-263, August.
  6. Miles, David, 1999. "Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change upon the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 1-36, January.
  7. Deborah Roseveare & Willi Leibfritz & Douglas Fore & Eckhard Wurzel, 1996. "Ageing Populations, Pension Systems and Government Budgets: Simulations for 20 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 168, OECD Publishing.
  8. Apps, Patricia, 1991. "Tax Reform, Population Ageing and the Changing Labour Supply Behaviour of Married Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 201-16, August.
  9. David Miles & Ales Cerny, 2001. "Risk, Return and Portfolio Allocation under Alternative Pension Arrangements with Imperfect Financial Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 441, CESifo Group Munich.
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