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The income of the Swedish baby boomers

  • Flood, Lennart

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Klevmarken, Anders

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

  • Mitrut, Andreea

    ()

    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

This paper study the income of Swedish households belonging to the baby boom generation, i.e those born in the 1940-50. An international comparison as well as an historical presentation of income patterns is given. However, the main purpose is to generate the future income of the baby boom generation as they get older. A major result is that the income standard of the young-old will become much higher than that of the very old. If our simulations bear the stamp of realism they suggest that we will see new and large poverty in Sweden among the very old in the future. The pension system contributes to this result. The "front loaded" design gives with its reduced wage indexation a higher income immediately after retirement but a much lower income at older age. From this perspective it is unfortunate that so much attention is given to the discussion of replacement rates. The replacement rate, although interesting in itself, completely miss the long run effect and just provides a comparison of incomes shortly after with incomes before retirement. If we instead focus on the relative income of older pensioners the results become quite different. Our results challenge the conception of a sustainable pension system. If the relative income of older pensioner’s drops and at the same time expenditures for health and care increase, one might wonder how the old in our society will make both ends meet. If pensions become too small to meet "minimum standards" the requirement of financial sustainability of the pension system results in an increasing financial burden on other parts of the general social protection system.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2707
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Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 209.

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Length: 72 pages
Date of creation: 09 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0209
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/

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  1. Daniela Mantovani & Fotis Papadopoulos & Holly Sutherland & Panos Tsakloglou, 2005. "Pension Incomes in the European Union: Policy Reform Strategies in Comparative Perspective," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0004, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  2. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 2002. "The economic well-being of older people in international perspective: a critical review," MPRA Paper 10398, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven & David A. Wise, 1987. "Issues in Pension Economics," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi87-1, December.
  4. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2006. "Consumption and Economic Well-Being at Older Ages: Income- and Consumption-Based Poverty Measures in the HRS," Working Papers wp110, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Michael J. Boskin & John B. Shoven, 1987. "Concepts and Measures of Earnings Replacement During Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Issues in Pension Economics, pages 113-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Hurd & Susann Rohwedder, 2003. "The Retirement-Consumption Puzzle: Anticipated and Actual Declines in Spending at Retirement," Working Papers 03-12, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  7. Alicia H. Munnell & Mauricio Soto, 2006. "What Replacement Rates Do Households Actually Experience In Retirement?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2005-10, Center for Retirement Research.
  8. Michael J. Boskin & John B. Shoven, 1987. "Concepts and Measures of Earnings Replacement During Retirement," NBER Working Papers 1360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Queisser, Monika & Whitehouse, Edward, 2005. "Pensions at a glance: public policies across OECD countries," MPRA Paper 10907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Louise Sheiner & David N. Weil, 1992. "The Housing Wealth of the Aged," NBER Working Papers 4115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James P. Smith, 2003. "Trends and Projections in Income Replacement during Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 755-782, October.
  12. Quinn, Joseph F, 1987. "The Economic Status of the Elderly: Beware of the Mean," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 33(1), pages 63-82, March.
  13. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
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