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Coping with Spain's Aging; Retirement Rules and Incentives

  • Alexander W. Hoffmaister
  • Mario Catalán
  • Jaime Guajardo

This paper evaluates the macroeconomic and welfare effects of extending the averaging period used to calculate pension benefits in a pay-as-you-go system. It also examines the complementarities between reforms extending the averaging period and those increasing the retirement age under alternative tax policies. The analysis is based on a model in the Auerbach-Kotlikoff tradition applied to the Spanish economy. Without reforms, the simulations suggest that aging-related spending as a share of output will increase 16 percentage points by 2050, which are twice as much as in European Commission (2006) projections due to general equilibrium effects. Also, reforms extending the averaging period to the entire work life limit expenditure pressures at the peak of the demographic shock as much as increasing the retirement age in line with life expectancy (4 percentage points of GDP). These reforms and prefunding the demographic shock mitigate the adverse macroeconomic effects of aging and improve welfare.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/122.

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Length: 51
Date of creation: 01 May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/122
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  1. Juan F. Jimeno & Juan A. Rojas & Sergio Puente, 2006. "Modeling the impact of aging on social security expenditures," Banco de Espa�a Occasional Papers 0601, Banco de Espa�a.
  2. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467.
  3. Alan S. Blinder & Roger H. Gordon & Donald E. Wise, 1980. "Reconsidering the Work Disincentive Effects of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 0562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Assar Lindbeck & Mats Persson, 2003. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 74-112, March.
  5. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
  6. de Cordoba, Gonzalo Fernandez & Kehoe, Timothy J., 2000. "Capital flows and real exchange rate fluctuations following Spain's entry into the European Community," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 49-78, June.
  7. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Kent Smetters & Jan Walliser, 1999. "Privatizing Social Security in the U.S. -- Comparing the Options," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 532-574, July.
  8. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1998. "The A-K Model: It's Past, Present, and Future," NBER Working Papers 6684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Juan A. Rojas, . "Life-cycle Earnings Cohort Size Effects and Social Security. A Quantitative Exploration," Studies on the Spanish Economy 88, FEDEA.
  10. Sánchez Martín, Alfonso R., 2010. "Endogenous retirement and public pension system reform in Spain," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 336-349, January.
  11. Ángel Estrada & José Luis Fernández & Esther Moral & Ana V. Regil, 2004. "A quarterly macroeconometric model of the Spanish Economy," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0413, Banco de Espa�a.
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