Longevity and Aggregate Savings
For the last fifty years, countries in Asia and elsewhere have witnessed a surge in aggregate savings per capita. Some empirical studies attribute this trend to the increases in life longevity of the populations of these countries. It has been argued that the rise in savings is short-run, eventually to be dissipated by the dissaving of the elderly, whose proportion in the population rises along with longevity. This paper examines whether these conclusions are supported by economic theory. A model of life-cycle decisions with uncertain survival is used to derive individuals' consumption and chosen retirement age response to changes in longevity from which changes in individual savings are derived. Conditions on the age-profile of improvements in survival probabilities are shown to be necessary in order to predict the direction of this response. Population theory (e.g. Coale, 1952) is used to derive the steady-state population age density function, enabling the aggregation of individual response functions and a comparative steady-state analysis. Under certain conditions, increased longevity is shown to increase aggregate savings per capita. These conclusions pertain to an economy with a competitive annuity market. The absence of such market compels individuals to leave unintended bequests, whose size depends on the (random) age of death. While an increase in longevity raises individual savings for given endowments, it is shown that the effect on expected steady-state aggregate savings, taking into account the endogenous ergodic distribution of endowments, cannot be determined a-priori.
|Date of creation:||2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich|
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo-group.de
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980.
"The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation,"
NBER Working Papers
0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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 706-32, August.
- Eytan Sheshinski, 2006. "Note on Longevity and Aggregate Savings," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 353-356, 07.
- Lorentzen, Peter L. & McMillan, John & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005.
"Death and Development,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Zilcha, Itzhak & Friedman, Joseph, 1985. "Saving behavior in retirement when life horizon is uncertain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 63-66.
- Miles, David K, 1997.
"Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change Upon the Economy,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Miles, David, 1999. "Modelling the Impact of Demographic Change upon the Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 1-36, January.
- Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2007.
"To Leave or Not to Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 207-235.
- Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph Lupton, 2005. "To Leave or Not To Leave: The Distribution of Bequest Motives," NBER Working Papers 11767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wojciech Kopczuk & Joseph P. Lupton, 2004. "To leave or not to leave: the distribution of bequest motives," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- David E. Bloom & David Canning & Bryan Graham, 2003.
"Longevity and Life-cycle Savings,"
Scandinavian Journal of Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 319-338, 09.
- David M. Cutler, 2004. "Are the Benefits of Medicine Worth What We Pay for It? 15th Annual Herbert Lourie Memorial Lecture on Health Policy," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 27, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
- Tomas J. Philipson & Gary S. Becker, 1998. "Old-Age Longevity and Mortality-Contingent Claims," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 551-573, June.
- Eytan Sheshinski, 2007. "The Economic Theory of Annuities," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8536, 01-2013.
- Kinugasa, Tomoko & Mason, Andrew, 2007. "Why Countries Become Wealthy: The Effects of Adult Longevity on Saving," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-23, January.
- Ronald D Lee & Andrew Mason & Tim Miller, 1998. "Saving, Wealth, and Population," Working Papers 199805, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1828. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.