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Retirement Expectations, Pension Reforms and Their Effect on Private Wealth Accumulation

  • Bottazzi, Renata
  • Jappelli, Tullio
  • Padula, Mario

We estimate the effect of pension reforms on households’ expectations of retirement outcomes and private wealth accumulation decisions exploiting a decade of Italian pension reforms as a source of exogenous variation in expected pension wealth. Two parameters are crucial to estimate pension wealth: the age at which workers expect to retire and the expected ratio of pension benefits to pre-retirement income. The Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a large random sample of the Italian population, elicits these expectations during a period of intense pension reforms between 1989 and 2002. These reforms had different consequences for different cohorts and employment groups, providing a quasi-experimental framework to study the effect of social security arrangements on expectations of retirement outcomes and household saving decisions. Our main findings are that workers have revised expectations in the direction suggested by the reform and that there is substantial offset between private wealth and perceived pension wealth.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4882.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4882
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  1. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2001. "Imperfect Knowledge, Retirement and Saving," NBER Working Papers 8406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Agar Brugiavini, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Working Papers 6155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski & Jordan Heinz, 2002. "Social Security Expectations and Retirement Savings Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 273, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  5. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Tito Boeri & Axel Börsch-Supan & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Would you like to shrink the welfare state? A survey of European citizens," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(32), pages 7-50, 04.
  7. Orazio P. Attanasio & Susann Rohwedder, 2003. "Pension Wealth and Household Saving: Evidence from Pension Reforms in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1499-1521, December.
  8. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "The Timing of Retirement: A Comparison of Expectations and Realizations," NBER Working Papers 2291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Orazio Attanasio & Susanne Rohwedder, 2001. "Pension wealth and household saving: evidence from pension reforms in the UK," IFS Working Papers W01/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. 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.
  11. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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