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Pension Privatization and Country Risk

Author

Listed:
  • Alfredo Cuevas
  • Maria Gonzalez
  • Arnoldo López-Marmolejo
  • Davide Lombardo

Abstract

This paper explores how privatizing a pension system can affect sovereign credit risk. For this purpose, it analyzes the importance that rating agencies give to implicit pension debt (IPD) in their assessments of sovereign creditworthiness. We find that rating agencies generally do not seem to give much weight to IPD, focusing instead on explicit public debt. However, by channeling pension contributions away from the government and creating a deficit of resources to cover the current pension liabilities during the reform's transition period, a pension privatization reform may transform IPD into explicit public debt, adversely affecting a sovereign's perceived creditworthiness, thus increasing its risk premium. In this light, accompanying pension reform with efforts to offset its transition costs through fiscal adjustment would help preserve a country's credit rating.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfredo Cuevas & Maria Gonzalez & Arnoldo López-Marmolejo & Davide Lombardo, 2008. "Pension Privatization and Country Risk," IMF Working Papers 08/195, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/195
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nadeem Ul Haque & Manmohan S. Kumar & Nelson Mark & Donald J. Mathieson, 1996. "The Economic Content of Indicators of Developing Country Creditworthiness," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(4), pages 688-724, December.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
    4. Barry Eichengreen & Ricardo Hausmann & Ugo Panizza, 2003. "Currency Mismatches, Debt Intolerance and Original Sin: Why They Are Not the Same and Why it Matters," NBER Working Papers 10036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Juan Carlos Conesa & carlos Carriga, 2004. "Optimal Design of Social Security Reforms," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 642.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    6. Baek, In-Mee & Bandopadhyaya, Arindam & Du, Chan, 2005. "Determinants of market-assessed sovereign risk: Economic fundamentals or market risk appetite?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 533-548, June.
    7. Holzmann, Robert & Palacios, Robert & Zviniene, Asta, 2004. "Implicit pension debt: issues, measurement and scope in international perspective," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 30153, The World Bank.
    8. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 1999. "Effects of pensions on savings: analysis with data from the health and retirement study," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 271-324, June.
    9. Feldstein, Martin & Seligman, Stephanie, 1981. "Pension Funding, Share Prices, and National Savings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 801-824, September.
    10. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Determinants and impact of sovereign credit ratings," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Oct, pages 37-53.
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    Cited by:

    1. Reece, Christopher & Sam, Abdoul G., 2012. "Impact of Pension Privatization on Foreign Direct Investment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 291-302.

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