IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Pensions and fertility: back to the roots - The introduction of Bismarck's pension scheme and the European fertility decline

Listed author(s):
  • Scheubel, Beatrice
  • Fenge, Robert

Fertility has long been declining in industrialised countries and the existence of public pension systems is considered as one of the causes. This paper provides detailed evidence based on historical data on the mechanism by which a public pension system depresses fertility. Our theoretical framework highlights that the effect of a public pension system on fertility works via the impact of contributions in such a system on disposable income as well as via the impact on future disposable income that is related to the internal rate of return of the pension system. Drawing on a unique historical data set which allows us to measure these variables at a jurisdictional level for a time when comprehensive social security was introduced, we estimate the effects predicted by the model. We find that beyond the traditional determinants of the first demographic transition, a lower internal rate of return of the pension system is associated with a higher birth rate. This result is robust to including the traditional determinants of the first demographic transition as controls as well as to other policy changes at the time. JEL Classification: C21, H31, H53, H55, J13, J18, J26, N33

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1734.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1734.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2014
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20141734
Contact details of provider: Postal:
60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as
in new window


  1. Patrick K. O'Brien & Leandro Prados De La Escosura, 1992. "Agricultural productivity and European industrialization, 1890-1980," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 45(3), pages 514-536, 08.
  2. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
  3. Prinz, Aloys, 1990. "Endogenous Fertility, Altruistic Behavior across Generations, and Social Security Systems," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(3), pages 179-192, October.
  4. Martin Kolmar, 1997. "Intergenerational redistribution in a small open economy with endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(3), pages 335-356.
  5. Cigno, Alessandro & Ermisch, John, 1989. "A microeconomic analysis of the timing of births," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 737-760, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Conley, Timothy G. & Molinari, Francesca, 2007. "Spatial correlation robust inference with errors in location or distance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 76-96, September.
  8. Francesco C. Billari & Vincenzo Galasso, 2008. "What Explains Fertility? Evidence from Italian Pension Reforms," CSEF Working Papers 209, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  9. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
  10. Robert Fenge & Volker Meier, 2005. "Pensions and fertility incentives," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 28-48, February.
  11. Meier, Volker & Wrede, Matthias, 2010. "Pensions, fertility, and education," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 75-93, January.
  12. Sascha Becker & Francesco Cinnirella & Ludger Woessmann, 2010. "The trade-off between fertility and education: evidence from before the demographic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 177-204, September.
  13. Sascha O. Becker & Erik Hornung & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "Education and Catch-Up in the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 92-126, July.
  14. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  15. John C. Driscoll & Aart C. Kraay, 1998. "Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation With Spatially Dependent Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 549-560, November.
  16. Becker, Gary S, 1988. "Family Economics and Macro Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 1-13, March.
  17. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2011. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 589-614, September.
  18. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
  19. Barro, Robert J & Becker, Gary S, 1989. "Fertility Choice in a Model of Economic Growth," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 481-501, March.
  20. Guinnane, Timothy W. & Ogilvie, Sheilagh, 2008. "Institutions and Demographic Responses to Shocks: Wurttemberg, 1634-1870," Working Papers 44, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  21. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
  22. Neher, Philip A, 1971. "Peasants, Procreation, and Pensions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 380-389, June.
  23. Helmuth Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Pensions with heterogenous individuals and endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(4), pages 961-981, October.
  24. Dowrick, Steve & Gemmell, Norman, 1991. "Industrialisation, Catching Up and Economic Growth: A Comparative Study across the World's Capitalist Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 263-275, March.
  25. Becker, Gary S, 1992. "Fertility and the Economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(3), pages 185-201, August.
  26. Charles Hohm, 1975. "Social security and fertility: An international perspective," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 12(4), pages 629-644, November.
  27. Erik Hornung, 2014. "Immigration and the Diffusion of Technology: The Huguenot Diaspora in Prussia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(1), pages 84-122, January.
  28. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  29. John C. Brown & Timothy W. Guinnane, 2007. "Regions and time in the European fertility transition: problems in the Princeton Project's statistical methodology -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(3), pages 574-595, 08.
  30. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-926, Sept./Oct.
  31. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-564.
  32. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1992. "The Effects of Financial Markets and Social Security on Saving and Fertility Behaviour in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(4), pages 319-341.
  33. Cristino R. Arroyo & Junsen Zhang, 1997. "Dynamic microeconomic models of fertility choice: A survey," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(1), pages 23-65.
  34. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 160-164, May.
  35. Gary S. Becker & Robert J. Barro, 1988. "A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-25.
  36. Haines, Michael R., 1976. "Population and Economic Change in Nineteenth-Century Eastern Europe: Prussian Upper Silesia, 1840–1913," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(02), pages 334-358, June.
  37. Ab O, G. & Mahieu, G. & Patxot, C., 2004. "On the optimality of PAYG pension systems in an endogenous fertility setting," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 35-62, March.
  38. Alessandro Cigno & Martin Werding, 2007. "Children and Pensions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033690, December.
  39. Herbert Smith, 1989. "Integrating Theory and Research on the Institutional Determinants of Fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(2), pages 171-184, May.
  40. van Groezen, Bas & Leers, Theo & Meijdam, Lex, 2003. "Social security and endogenous fertility: pensions and child allowances as siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 233-251, February.
  41. Schultz, T Paul, 1969. "An Economic Model of Family Planning and Fertility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(2), pages 153-180, March/Apr.
  42. Ehrlich, Isaac & Zhong, Jian-Guo, 1998. "Social Security and the Real Economy: An Inquiry into Some Neglected Issues," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 151-157, May.
  43. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20141734. 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: (Official Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.