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The Portfolio Effect of Pension Reforms

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

We estimate the portfolio effect of changes in social security wealth exploiting a decade of Italian pension reforms as a source of exogenous variation. The Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth records detailed portfolio data and elicits expectations of retirement outcomes, thus allowing us to measure the expected social security wealth and to assess to what extent Italian households perceive the innovations brought about by the reforms. We find that households have responded to the cut in pension benefits mostly by increasing real estate wealth, and that the response is stronger among households that are able to estimate more accurately future social security benefits. We also compute that for the average household consumable wealth increases by 40 percent of the reduction in social security wealth.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7380.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7380
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  1. Riccardo Cesari & Giuseppe Grandi & Fabio Panetta, 2008. "Supplementary Pension Schemes in Italy: Features,Development and Opportunities for Workers," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 67(1), pages 21-73, March.
  2. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  3. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2187-2212, December.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1999. "Taxation and Saving," NBER Working Papers 7061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 763-789, May.
  6. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
  7. Agar Brugiavini, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Working Papers 6155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Todd Sinai & Nicholas Souleles, 2007. "Net worth and housing equity in retirement," Working Papers 07-33, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  9. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax incentives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1779-1799, August.
  10. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
  11. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2005. "Retirement Expectations, Pension Reforms and Their Effect on Private Wealth Accumulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Feldstein, Martin & Pellechio, Anthony, 1979. "Social Security and Household Wealth Accumulation: New Microeconometric Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 361-68, August.
  13. R. C. Merton, 1970. "Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model," Working papers 58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Giovanni Guazzarotti & Pietro Tommasino, 2008. "The Annuity Market in an Evolving Pension System: Lessons from Italy," CeRP Working Papers 77, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  18. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Housing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 535-567.
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