IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2003. "Fertility, Dependency and Social Security," CEPR Discussion Papers 462, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:462

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    2. 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 467-467.
    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 1-23, 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. Apps, Patricia, 1991. "Tax Reform, Population Ageing and the Changing Labour Supply Behaviour of Married Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 4(3), pages 201-216, August.
    7. 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.
    8. Miles, David, 1999. "Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change upon the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 1-36, January.
    9. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2007. "Population Ageing, Taxation, pensions and Health Costs," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 10(2), pages 79-97, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:462. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.