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Mandatory pension savings, private savings, homeownership, and financial stability

  • Asgeir Danielsson
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    This paper contributes to the discussion of effects of mandatory pension savings and house price risk on aggregate household savings, homeownership, and risks in lending to homeowners. The analysis is theoretical and based on the life-cycle hypothesis. It is shown that mandatory pension savings based on defined benefits will increase risk in lending to homeowners. Households that remain homeowners will increase their personal savings while those that prefer renting will decrease their savings as renters take on less risk from house price volatility than homeowners. The relative size of the two effects on savings depends on households‘ preferences over homeownership and renting. The assets of the mandatory pension funds in Iceland are among the highest in the world. This country also scores very high in homeownership with around 80% of households living in own homes. For these reasons data on the Icelandic pension system and on homeownership in this country provide a convenient background for discussion of the theoretical issues.

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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland in its series Economics with number wp58.

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    Date of creation: May 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ice:wpaper:wp58
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