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Aging and Pension Reform in a Two-Region World: The Role of Human Capital

  • Vogel, Edgar


  • Ludwig, Alexander


  • Börsch-Supan, Axel


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

Projected demographic changes in industrialized countries will reduce the share of the workingage population. Analyses based on standard OLG models predict that these changes will increase the capital-labor ratio. Hence, rates of return to capital decrease and wages increase, which has adverse welfare consequences for current middle aged asset rich agents. This paper addresses two important endogenous adjustments channels to dampen these detrimental effects of demographic change: investing abroad and endogenous human capital formation. Our quantitative finding is that openness has a relatively mild effect. In contrast, endogenous human capital formation in combination with profound changes in pension policy – fixing contribution rates and increases in the retirement age – have strong effects. Maximum welfare losses of demographic change for households alive in 2010 decrease from 6.5% to 3.6% when human capital endogenously adjusts and when the statutory retirement age is indexed to life expectancy.

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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 11246.

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Date of creation: 24 Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:11246
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. Dirk Krueger & Alexander Ludwig, 2006. "On the Consequences of Demographic Change for Rates of Returns to Capital, and the Distribution of Wealth and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 12453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ludwig, Alexander & Schelkle, Thomas & Vogel, Edgar, 2010. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," MEA discussion paper series 10196, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  3. Alexander Ludwig & Dirk Krueger & Axel H. Boersch-Supan, 2007. "Demographic Change, Relative Factor Prices, International Capital Flows, and Their Differential Effects on the Welfare of Generations," NBER Working Papers 13185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu, 2009. "A quantitative analysis of the evolution of the U.S. wage distribution, 1970-2000," Staff Report 427, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  6. HUANG, HE & IMROHOROG[caron]LU, SELAHATTIN & SARGENT, THOMAS J., 1997. "Two Computations To Fund Social Security," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 7-44, January.
  7. Maria Arrazola & Jose de Hevia, 2004. "More on the estimation of the human capital depreciation rate," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 145-148.
  8. Storesletten, Kjetil, 1998. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy Through Immigration," Seminar Papers 664, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Axel Boersch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig, 2005. "Aging, pension reform, and capital flows: A multi-country simulation model," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 123, Society for Computational Economics.
  10. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1997. "Life expectancy and endogenous growth," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1997029, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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  15. Perroni, Carlo, 1995. "Assessing the Dynamic Efficiency Gains of Tax Reform When Human Capital Is Endogenous," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 907-25, November.
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  17. Alexander Ludwig & Edgar Vogel, 2009. "Mortality, Fertility, Education and Capital Accumulation in a Simple OLG Economy," MEA discussion paper series 09179, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  18. Lord, William, 1989. "The transition from payroll to consumption receipts with endogenous human capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 53-73, February.
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  23. Boucekkine, Raouf & de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 2002. "Vintage Human Capital, Demographic Trends, and Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 340-375, June.
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