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Pension Systems, Ageing and the Stability and Growth Pact

  • Roel Beetsma
  • Heikki Oksanen

This paper explores how the Stability and Growth Pact may cope with the future costs of population ageing in the European Union. Clearly, population ageing has forced countries to reform their pension systems, and will continue to do so, both by reducing the generosity of pension arrangements and by switching to funding rather than relying on pure pay-as-you go pension provision. We study how such reforms affect the room for adhering to the Pact, but also how the Pact may induce or hamper the incentives for reform. In our analysis we will draw on recent literature on the Pact and on the pensions and the ageing problem. We will also calibrate a simple model for addressing intergenerational equity. Keywords: Public pensions, population ageing, government budget deficit and debt, European Union Stability and Growth Pact.

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Paper provided by Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission in its series European Economy - Economic Papers with number 289.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:euf:ecopap:0289
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  1. Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2005. "Fiscal policy in EMU: towards a sustainability and growth pact," Working Papers 52, Bruegel.
  2. Beetsma, Roel M.W.J. & Debrun, Xavier, 2007. "The new stability and growth pact: A first assessment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 453-477, February.
  3. Larch, Martin & Jonung, Lars & Fischer, Jonas, 2008. "101 proposals to reform the Stability and Growth Pact. Why so many? A survey," MPRA Paper 20592, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Heikki Oksanen, 2003. "Population ageing and public finance targets," European Economy - Economic Papers 196, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  5. Razin, A. & Sadka, E. & Swagel, P., 2000. "The Aging Population and the Size of the Welfare State," Papers 2000-23, Tel Aviv.
  6. Gonzales-Eiras, Martín & Niepelt, Dirk, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Seminar Papers 731, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. Kenji Moriyama & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2004. "Fiscal Adjustment in Eu Countries; A Balance Sheet Approach," IMF Working Papers 04/143, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Vincenzo Galasso, 2008. "The Political Future of Social Security in Aging Societies," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026257246x, June.
  10. Roel M. W. J. Beetsma & Xavier Debrun, 2004. "Reconciling Stability and Growth: Smart Pacts and Structural Reforms," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(3), pages 431-456, November.
  11. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2001. "Generational Policy," NBER Working Papers 8163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Heikki Oksanen, 2004. "Pension reforms: an illustrated basic analysis," European Economy - Economic Papers 201, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  13. Benoiˆt Coeure´ & Jean Pisani-Ferry, 2005. "Fiscal Policy in Emu: Towards a Sustainability and Growth Pact?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(4), pages 598-617, Winter.
  14. Phillip Swagel & Efraim Sadka & Assaf Razin, 2002. "The Aging of the Population and the Size of the Welfare State," IMF Working Papers 02/68, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Principles of Policymaking in the European Union: an Economic Perspective," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000157, David K. Levine.
  16. Buti, Marco & Franco, Daniele & Ongena, Hedwig, 1998. "Fiscal Discipline and Flexibility in EMU: The Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 81-97, Autumn.
  17. Juan C. Conesa & Dirk Krueger, 1999. "Social Security Reform with Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(4), pages 757-795, October.
  18. Oksanen, Heikki, 2005. "Public pensions in the national accounts and public finance targets," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(03), pages 291-312, November.
  19. Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 1998. "The Stability Pact: more than a minor nuisance?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 65-113, 04.
  20. Peter Whiteford & Edward Whitehouse, 2006. "Pension Challenges and Pension Reforms in Oecd Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 78-94, Spring.
  21. Oksanen, Heikki, 2006. "Actuarial Neutrality across Generations Applied to Public Pensions under Population Ageing: Effects on Government Finances and National Saving," Discussion Paper 284, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  22. Vincent Koen & Paul van den Noord, 2005. "Fiscal Gimmickry in Europe: One-Off Measures and Creative Accounting," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 417, OECD Publishing.
  23. Blanchard, Olivier J & Giavazzi, Francesco, 2004. "Improving the SGP Through a Proper Accounting of Public Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4220, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Bosworth, Barry & Burtless, Gary, 2004. "Pension Reform and Saving," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(3), pages 703-27, September.
  25. Willem H. Buiter & Clemens Grafe, 2004. "Patching up the Pact," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 67-102, 03.
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