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Demographics and Volatile Social Security Wealth: Political Risks of Benefit Rule Changes in Germany

  • Christoph Borgmann
  • Matthias Heidler
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    In this paper we address the question how the generosity of the benefit rule of the German public pension system has changed during the past three decades and how this development can be explained by demographic changes. Firstly, we illustrate the political risk of benefit rule changes for individuals. We find that depending on the birth year and the considered scenario the relative losses vary between 30 and nearly 60 percent. Secondly, we estimate how demographic developments have triggered these changes in generosity. Our results suggest that future developments of the old-age dependency ratio have an influence on the determination of generosity.

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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1021.

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    Date of creation: 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1021
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    1. Phillip Swagel & Efraim Sadka & Assaf Razin, 2002. "The Aging of the Population and the Size of the Welfare State," IMF Working Papers 02/68, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Hans-Werner Sinn & Marcel Thum, 1999. "Gesetzliche Rentenversicherung: Prognosen im Vergleich," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(1), pages 104-140, March.
    3. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1991. "Generational accounting: a new approach for understanding the effects of fiscal policy on saving," Working Paper 9107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    4. John Y. Campbell & Martin Feldstein, 2001. "Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number camp01-1, December.
    5. John McHale, 2001. "The Risk of Social Security Benefit-Rule Changes: Some International Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Risk Aspects of Investment-Based Social Security Reform, pages 247-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 2002. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 900-918, August.
    7. David Bradford, 1991. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 5," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brad91-1, December.
    8. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, December.
    9. Bonin, Holger, 2001. "Will it Last? An Assessment of the 2001 German Pension Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 343, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Schnabel, Reinhold, 1997. "Rates of Return of the German Pay-As-You-Go Pension System," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 98-56, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    11. Galasso, Vincenzo & Profeta, Paola, 2002. "The political economy of social security: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, March.
    12. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1998. "The Pay-As You-Go Pension System as a Fertility Insurance and Enforcement Device," CEPR Discussion Papers 2023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Alan J. Auerbach & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1994. "Generational Accounting: A Meaningful Way to Evaluate Fiscal Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 73-94, Winter.
    14. Martin Werding, 2000. "Rentenreform: Modellrechnungen zu den langfristigen Effekten," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 53(28-29), pages 39-42, November.
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