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Pension Reform and Demographic Crisis: Why a Funded System is Needed and why it is not Needed

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  • Hans-Werner Sinn

Abstract

Based on explicit present value calculations, the paper criticizes the view that the PAYGO system wastes economic resources. In present value terms, there is nothi ng to be gained from a transition to a funded system even though the latter offers a permanently higher rate of return. The sum of the implicit and explicit tax burdens that result from the need to respect the existing pension claims is the same under all systems and transition strategies. Nevertheless a partial transition to a funded system may be a way to overcome the current demographic crisis because it replaces missing human capital with real capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans-Werner Sinn, 1999. "Pension Reform and Demographic Crisis: Why a Funded System is Needed and why it is not Needed," CESifo Working Paper Series 195, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_195
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo_wp195.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Transition from a pay-as-you-go to a fully funded pension system: The case of differing individuals and intragenerational fairness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 131-146, April.
    2. Wrede Matthias, 1999. "Pareto Efficient Pay-as-you-go Pension Systems with Multi-Period Lives / Pareto-effiziente umlagefinanzierte Alterssicherungssysteme bei mehrperiodigem Arbeitsleben," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 219(3-4), pages 494-503, June.
    3. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Would Privatizing Social Security Raise Economic Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 5281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 640-647.
    5. 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.
    6. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1997. "The Value of Children and Immigrants in a Pay-As-You-Go Pension System: A Proposal for a Partial Transition to a Funded System," NBER Working Papers 6229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Siebert, Horst, 1997. "Pay-as-you-go versus capital funded pension systems: the issues," Kiel Working Papers 816, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 115-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2000. "What Are the Gains from Pension Reform?," Working Paper Series 535, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Matsen, Egil & Thogersen, Oystein, 2004. "Designing social security - a portfolio choice approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 883-904, August.
    3. Paul van den Noord & Chistopher Heady, 2001. "Surveillance of Tax Policies: A Synthesis of Findings in Economic Surveys," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 303, OECD Publishing.
    4. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The pay-as-you-go pension system as fertility insurance and an enforcement device," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1335-1357, July.
    5. Borgmann, Christoph, 2002. "Labor income risk, demographic risk, and the design of (wage-indexed) social security," Discussion Papers 100, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Finanzwissenschaft.
    6. Marek Loužek, 2007. "Pension Reform in the Czech Republic - A Contribution into the Debate," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2007(1), pages 55-69.
    7. Assar Lindbeck, 2002. "Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Pension Reform in Europe, pages 19-48 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Assar Lindbeck, 2006. "Sustainable social spending," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(4), pages 303-324, August.
    9. Kruse, Agneta, 2000. "Pension Reforms; Effects on Intergenerational Risk-Sharing and Redistribution," Working Papers 2000:10, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    10. Kai A. Konrad & Gert Wagner, 2000. "Reform of the Public Pension System in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 200, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Richard Disney, 2006. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Design of Public Pension Programmes," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(2), pages 175-195.
    12. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2005. "Europe's Demographic Deficit," Munich Reprints in Economics 934, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    13. Kruse, Agneta & Nyberg, Kristian, 2004. "Pensions and external effects of ageing; effects on distribution," Working Papers 2004:27, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    14. Marcel Thum & Jakob von Weisäcker, 2000. "Implizite Einkommensteuer als Messlatte für die aktuellen Rentenreformvorschläge," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 453-468, November.
    15. Sinn, Hans-Werner & Uebelmesser, Silke, 2003. "Pensions and the path to gerontocracy in Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 153-158, March.
    16. David K. Miles, 2000. "Funded and Unfunded Pension Schemes: Risk, Return and Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 239, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Christian Holzner & Sonja Munz & Silke Übelmesser, 2009. "Fiskalische Wirkungen der Auswanderung ausgewählter Berufsgruppen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 62(17), pages 28-33, September.
    18. Cristophe Borgmann & Pascal Krimmer & Bernd Raffelhüshen, 2001. "Rentenreformen 1998-2001: Eine (vorläufige) Bestandsaufnahme," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(3), pages 319-334, August.
    19. 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.
    20. Cerny, Ales & Miles, David K, 2001. "Risk Return and Portfolio Allocation under Alternative Pension Systems with Imperfect Financial Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 2779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Miles, David K, 2000. "Funded and Unfunded Pensions: Risk, Return and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 2369, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Bartholomae, Florian W., 2006. "Trade And Pension Systems," Working Papers in Economics 2006,1, Bundeswehr University Munich, Economic Research Group.
    23. Alessandro Fiori Maccioni, 2011. "A Stochastic Model for the Analysis of Demographic Risk in Pay-As-You-Go Pension Funds," Papers 1106.5081, arXiv.org.
    24. Marek Louzek, 2008. "Pension system reform in Central and Eastern Europe," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 119-131.
    25. Borgmann, Christoph, 2001. "Assessing social security: Some useful results," Discussion Papers 97, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Institut für Finanzwissenschaft.

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