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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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    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
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    1. Florian Heiss & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2002. "Pension reform, capital markets, and the rate of return," MEA discussion paper series 02023, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    2. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2000. "The German Savings Puzzle," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-07, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    3. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," NBER Working Papers 2217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. 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, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. 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.
    7. Friedrich Breyer, 2000. "Kapitaldeckungs- versus Umlageverfahren," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 383-405, November.
    8. 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.
    9. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Lührmann, Melanie, 2000. "Prinzipien der Renten- und Pensionsbesteuerung," Discussion Papers 584, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    10. 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.
    11. Euwals, Rob, 2000. "Do Mandatory Pensions Decrease Household Savings? Evidence for the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 113, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Brugiavini, Agar & Padula, Mario, 2001. "Too much for retirement? Saving in Italy," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 39-60, March.
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