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Household Saving Rates and the Design of Social Security Programmes: Evidence from a Country Panel

  • Richard Disney
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    I argue that the offsetting effect of social security contributions on household retirement saving depends on how closely the social security programme imitates a private retirement saving plan (i.e. the ‘actuarial’ component of the social security programme) – the closer the design of the programme to a private retirement saving plan, the higher the offset. I estimate the determinants of household saving rates in a cross-country panel, augmenting standard measures of social security programme generosity and cost by indicators that proxy the actuarial component of the programme. These indicators affect saving rates as predicted; moreover they also affect labour force participation rates of older women (but not men). The findings are consistent with the view that more actuarially-based public programmes are treated by participants as a mandatory saving programme rather than as a tax-and-transfer system, thereby raising labour force participation rates but also increasing the programme’s substitutability for private retirement saving.

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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2005/wp-cesifo-2005-09/cesifo1_wp1541.pdf
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    Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1541.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1541
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    1. Feldstein, Martin, 1980. "International differences in social security and saving," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 225-244, October.
    2. Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John Sabelhaus, 1996. "Understanding the Postwar Decline in U.S. Saving: A Cohort Analysis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 315-407.
    3. Christopher Pissarides, 1997. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages : the role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2332, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Alessie, R.J.M. & Kapteyn, A. & Klijn, F.E., 1997. "Mandatory pensions and personal savings in The Netherlands," Other publications TiSEM dcff6ab7-1712-4830-bafe-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Alessie, R.J.M. & Kapteyn, A. & Klijn, F.E., 1997. "Mandatory pensions and personal savings in The Netherlands," Discussion Paper 1997-39, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2000. "Political sustainability and the design of social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 341-364, March.
    7. Richard Disney, 2004. "Are contributions to public pension programmes a tax on employment?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(39), pages 267-311, 07.
    8. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 1999. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 47, Central Bank of Chile.
    9. Disney, Richard, 2000. "Declining public pensions in an era of demographic ageing: Will private provision fill the gap?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 957-973, May.
    10. Hubbard, R Glenn, 1986. "Pension Wealth and Individual Saving: Some New Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 18(2), pages 167-78, May.
    11. Richard Disney, 2000. "The Impact of Tax and Welfare Policieson Employment and Unemployment in OECD Countries," IMF Working Papers 00/164, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Koskela, Erkki & Viren, Matti, 1983. "Social Security and Household Saving in an International Cross Section," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 212-17, March.
    13. Eric M. Engen & William G. Gale, 1997. "Effects of Social Security reform on private and national saving," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 41(Jun), pages 103-142.
    14. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74171 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Tullio Jappelli & Franco Modigliani, 1998. "The Age-Saving Profile and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," CSEF Working Papers 09, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    16. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1979. "Testing the Theory of Social Security and Life Cycle Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 396-410, June.
    17. Feldstein, Martin, 1996. "Social Security and Saving: New Time Series Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(2), pages 151-64, June.
    18. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
    19. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
    20. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski & Jordan Heinz, 2003. ""Will Social Security Be There For You?": How Americans Perceive Their Benefits," NBER Working Papers 9798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Assar Lindbeck & Mats Persson, 2003. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 74-112, March.
    22. Leimer, Dean R & Lesnoy, Selig D, 1982. "Social Security and Private Saving: New Time-Series Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(3), pages 606-29, June.
    23. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Social Security and Saving: New Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Robert K. Triest, 1997. "Social security reform: an overview," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 3-16.
    25. Erwin Ooghe & Erik Schokkaert & Jef Flechet, 2003. "The Incidence of Social Security Contributions: An Empirical Analysis," Empirica, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 81-106, June.
    26. Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Scholarly Articles 2770498, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    27. Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1994. "Saving, Growth, and Liquidity Constraints," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 83-109, February.
    28. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    29. repec:dgr:kubcen:199739 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Feldstein, Martin S, 1987. "Should Social Security Benefits Be Means Tested?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 468-84, June.
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