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Consumer Confusion: The Choice of AFORE

  • Moisés J. Schwartz
  • Enrique E. Domínguez
  • Roberto Calderón-Colín
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    This paper was prepared for the World Bank 4th Annual Contractual Savings Conference (Washington DC, April 2008) co-organized by Gregorio Impavido (gimpavido@imf.org). The article shows that account transfers among pension administrators in Mexico barely respond to price or return considerations and in general has not improved the consumer's pension balance. Instead of strengthening competition through lower fees and higher returns for the consumer, AFORE switching has so far undermined the system and resulted in the destruction of value. Moreover, "noisy" evaluations of the product by the consumer tend to undermine the power of competition. Thus, an increased number of pension fund managers has not provided a more competitive environment. The theoretical framework allows for the estimation of "noise" and mark-ups in the AFORE industry. As the number of AFOREs increases, the mark-up diminishes at a very slow rate. This implies that more participants in the industry will hardly affect prices.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/177.

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    Length: 61
    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/177
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    1. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Research Reports 25164, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
    2. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
    3. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2002. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Salop, Steven C, 1985. "Equilibrium with Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 107-20, January.
    5. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
    6. David Laibson & Xavier Gabaix, 2004. "Competition and Consumer Confusion," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 663, Econometric Society.
    7. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson & Hongyi Li, 2005. "Extreme Value Theory and the Effects of Competition on Profits," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000656, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Rodrigo Cerda, 2006. "Movilidad en la Cartera de Cotizantes por AFP: La Importancia de ser Primero en Rentabilidad," Documentos de Trabajo 309, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    9. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
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