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The economics of pensions


  • Barr, Nicholas
  • Diamond, Peter


This paper sets out the economic analytics of pensions. After introductory discussion, successive sections consider the effects of different pension arrangements on labour markets, on national savings and growth, and on the distribution of burdens and benefits. These areas are controversial and politically highly salient. While we are open about expressing our own views, the main purpose of the paper is to set out the analytical process by which we reach them, to enable readers to form their own conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Barr, Nicholas & Diamond, Peter, 2006. "The economics of pensions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2630, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:2630

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. New, Bill, 1999. "Paternalism and Public Policy," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(01), pages 63-83, April.
    2. Feldstein, Martin, 1996. "The Missing Piece in Policy Analysis: Social Security Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 1-14, May.
    3. Pascal Belan & Pierre Pestieau, 1999. "Privatizing Social Security: A Critical Assessment," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 24(1), pages 114-130, January.
    4. Barr, Nicholas, 2001. "The Welfare State as Piggy Bank: Information, Risk, Uncertainty, and the Role of the State," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199246595.
    5. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Rethinking Social Insurance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 1-24, March.
    6. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
    7. Robert Holzmann & Richard Hinz, 2005. "Old Age Income Support in the 21st century: An International Perspective on Pension Systems and Reform," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7336, March.
    8. Axel H. Boersch-Supan & Joachim K. Winter, 2001. "Population Aging, Savings Behavior and Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 8561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. A. B. Atkinson, 1999. "The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011719, January.
    10. Peter A. Diamond & Peter R. Orszag, 2005. "Saving Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 11-32, Spring.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions


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