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What We Know and What We Do NOT Know

  • Axel Börsch-Supan

    ()

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

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    As the publicly financed pay-as-you-go pension systems in Europe come under increasing pressure, workers and politicians rediscover private savings for retirement in Europe – the provision of self-financed rather than state-financed old-age insurance. This paper summarizes our knowledge about the retirement savings motive, and particularly the willingness of individuals to participate in voluntary and/or mandatory private saving schemes for retirement. We also review our knowledge of crowding-out effects, that is, to which extent state-financed old-age insurance substitutes for self-provided old-age insurance, and to which extent retirement saving crowd out other saving. The state of the art is less than satisfactory. We have little reliable evidence on life-cycle saving patterns and its policy determinants. Moreover, while we have some convincing evidence that there is substitution between public and private old-age insurance, the extent of potential crowding out is still very much disputed. One of the main reasons is lack of suitable data. The paper points to specific strategies that enable our governments to base current and future pension reform decisions on a more solid foundation.

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    File URL: http://mea.mpisoc.mpg.de/uploads/user_mea_discussionpapers/dp17.pdf
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    Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 02017.

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    Date of creation: 28 Jan 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:02017
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
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    1. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving? Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-98, August.
    2. Axel Boersch-Supan & Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2003. "Pension Reform, Capital Markets and the Rate of Return," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 4(2), pages 151-181, 05.
    3. Kapteyn, Arie & Alessie, Rob & Lusardi, Annamaria, 1999. "Explaining the wealth holdings of different cohorts : productivity growth and social security," Serie Research Memoranda 0038, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    4. Axel H. Boersch-Supan & Joachim K. Winter, 2001. "Population Aging, Savings Behavior and Capital Markets," NBER Working Papers 8561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Lührmann, Melanie, 2000. "Prinzipien der Renten- und Pensionsbesteuerung," Discussion Papers 584, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    6. Börsch-Supan, Axel H. & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2001. "The German Savings Puzzle," Munich Reprints in Economics 20236, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    7. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Robert P. Hagemann & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 1989. "The Economic Dynamics of an Ageing Population: The Case of Four OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 62, OECD Publishing.
    8. Alessie, R.J.M. & Kapteyn, A. & Klijn, F.E., 1997. "Mandatory pensions and personal savings in The Netherlands," Discussion Paper 1997-39, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    9. Euwals, Rob, 2000. "Do Mandatory Pensions Decrease Household Savings? Evidence for the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 113, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Alessie, R.J.M. & Kapteyn, A. & Klijn, F.E., 1997. "Mandatory pensions and personal savings in The Netherlands," Other publications TiSEM dcff6ab7-1712-4830-bafe-3, School of Economics and Management.
    11. repec:dgr:kubcen:199739 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Brugiavini, Agar & Padula, Mario, 2001. "Too much for retirement? Saving in Italy," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 39-60, March.
    13. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "A Model under Siege: A Case Study of the German Retirement Insurance System," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F24-45, February.
    14. Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998. "Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-88, September.
    15. Friedrich Breyer, 2000. "Kapitaldeckungs- versus Umlageverfahren," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 383-405, November.
    16. repec:dgr:uvatin:19990069 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1992. "Saving and Consumption Patterns of the Elderly: The German Case," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 289-303.
    18. Orazio P. Attanasio & Thomas C. DeLeire, 1994. "IRAs and Household Saving Revisited: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74171 is not listed on IDEAS
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