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Why a Funded Pension System is Useful and Why It is Not Useful

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  • Sinn, Hans-Werner

Abstract

Based on explicit present value calculations, the paper criticizes the view that the PAYGO system wastes economic resources. In present value terms, there is nothing to be gained from a transition to a funded system even though the latter offers a permanently higher rate of return. The sum of the implicit and explicit tax burdens that result from the need to respect the existing pension claims is the same under all systems and transition strategies. Nevertheless a partial transition to a funded system may be a way to overcome the current demographic crisis because it replaces missing human capital with real capital and helps smooth tax and child rearing costs across the generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2000. "Why a Funded Pension System is Useful and Why It is Not Useful," Munich Reprints in Economics 19859, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19859
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marcel Thum & Jakob von Weisäcker, 2000. "Implizite Einkommensteuer als Messlatte für die aktuellen Rentenreformvorschläge," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 453-468, November.
    2. Brunner, Johann K., 1996. "Transition from a pay-as-you-go to a fully funded pension system: The case of differing individuals and intragenerational fairness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 131-146, April.
    3. Wrede Matthias, 1999. "Pareto Efficient Pay-as-you-go Pension Systems with Multi-Period Lives / Pareto-effiziente umlagefinanzierte Alterssicherungssysteme bei mehrperiodigem Arbeitsleben," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 219(3-4), pages 494-503, June.
    4. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Would Privatizing Social Security Raise Economic Welfare?," NBER Working Papers 5281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Homburg, Stefan, 1990. "The Efficiency of Unfunded Pension Schemes," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 640-647.
    6. Feldstein, Martin & Liebman, Jeffrey B., 2002. "Social security," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 32, pages 2245-2324 Elsevier.
    7. Friedrich Schneider & Dominik Enste, 1999. "Shadow Economies Around the World - Size, Causes, and Consequences," CESifo Working Paper Series 196, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
    9. Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1998. "Simulating the Privatization of Social Security in General Equilibrium," NBER Chapters,in: Privatizing Social Security, pages 265-311 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1998. "The Pay-as-you-go Pension System as a Fertility Insurance and Enforcement Device," CESifo Working Paper Series 154, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 115-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Robert Fenge & Jakob von Weizsäcker, 1999. "To what Extent are Public Pensions Pareto-improving? On the Interaction of Means Tested Basic Income and Public Pensions," CESifo Working Paper Series 197, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The Value of Children and Immigrants in a Pay-As-You-Go Pension System: A Proposal For a Partial Transition to a Funded System," CEPR Discussion Papers 1734, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1997. "On relative wealth effects and the optimality of growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 87-92, January.
    15. Homburg, Stefan & Richter, Wolfram, 1990. "Eine effizienzorientierte Reform der GRV," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 183-191..
    16. Konrad Kai A. & Olsen Trond E. & Schob Ronnie, 1994. "Resource Extraction and the Threat of Possible Expropriation: The Role of Swiss Bank Accounts," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 149-162, March.
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    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies

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