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The Displacement Effect of Public Pensions on the Accumulation of Financial Assets

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  • Michael Hurd

    (RAND Corporation, Center for the Study of Aging)

  • Pierre-Carl Michaud

    (RAND Corporation, Center for the Study of Aging)

  • Susann Rohwedder

    (RAND Corporation, Center for the Study of Aging)

Abstract

The generosity of public pensions may depress private savings and provide incentives to retire early. While there is plenty of evidence supporting the latter effect, there remains considerable controversy as whether or not public pensions crowd out private savings. This paper uses international micro-datasets collected over recent years to investigate whether public pensions displace private savings. The identification strategy relies on differences in the progressivity or non-linearity of pension formulas across countries. We also make use of large heterogeneity in earnings across education group and country. The evidence we present is consistent with previous studies using cross-sectional and time-series variation in savings and pensions. We estimate that an extra dollar of pension wealth depresses accumulated financial assets at the time of retirement by 23 to 44 cents and that an extra ten thousand dollars in pension wealth reduces the average retirement age by roughly 1 month.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Hurd & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Susann Rohwedder, 2009. "The Displacement Effect of Public Pensions on the Accumulation of Financial Assets," Working Papers wp212, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp212
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    Cited by:

    1. Creedy, John & Gemmell, Norman & Scobie, Grant, 2015. "Pensions, savings and housing: A life-cycle framework with policy simulations," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 346-357.
    2. Alessie, Rob & Angelini, Viola & van Santen, Peter, 2013. "Pension wealth and household savings in Europe: Evidence from SHARELIFE," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 308-328.
    3. Serena Yu, 2016. "Retiree Welfare and the 2009 Pension Increase: Impacts from an Australian Experiment," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 92(296), pages 67-80, March.
    4. Andrew Mason & Naohiro Ogawa & Amontheo Chawla & Rikiya Matsukura, 2011. "Asset-based flows from a generational perspective," Chapters,in: Population Aging and the Generational Economy, chapter 9 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Julia Le Blanc & Alessandro Porpiglia & Federica Teppa & Junyi Zhu & Michael Ziegelmeyer, 2014. "Household saving behaviour and credit constraints in the euro area," BCL working papers 93, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    6. Fessler, Pirmin & Schürz, Martin, 2015. "Private wealth across European countries: the role of income, inheritance and the welfare state," Working Paper Series 1847, European Central Bank.
    7. Alessie, R.J.M. & Angelini, V. & van Santen, P.C., 2012. "Pension wealth and household savings in Europe," Research Report 12012-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    8. Clark, Robert L. & Mitchell, Olivia S., 2014. "How does retiree health insurance influence public sector employee saving?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 109-118.
    9. Lachowska, Marta & Myck, Michal, 2015. "The Effect of Public Pension Wealth on Saving and Expenditure," IZA Discussion Papers 8895, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Olivia S. Mitchell & John W. R. Phillips, 2012. "Retirement in Japan and the United States: Cross-national Comparisons using the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR) and the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS)," Working Papers wp270, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    11. Blau, David M., 2011. "Pensions, Household Saving, and Welfare: A Dynamic Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 5554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Klaus Kaier & Christoph Müller, 2015. "New figures on unfunded public pension entitlements across Europe: concept, results and applications," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 865-895, November.
    13. Thomas Blanchet & Yves Dubois & Anthony Marino & Muriel Roger, 2016. "Patrimoine privé et retraite en France," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 207-244.
    14. Thomas Blanchet & Yves Dubois & Anthony Marino & Muriel Roger, 2016. "Patrimoine privé et retraite en France," Working Papers halshs-01292412, HAL.
    15. Mathieu Lefebvre & Sergio Perelman, 2016. "Social security wealth and household asset holdings: new evidence from Belgium," Working Papers of BETA 2016-38, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    16. Christoph Freudenberg & Tamás Berki & Ádám Reiff, 2016. "A Long-Term Evaluation of Recent Hungarian Pension Reforms," MNB Working Papers 2016/2, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
    17. Dillingh, Rik, 2016. "Empirical essays on behavioral economics and lifecycle decisions," Other publications TiSEM 0e2143e3-bd86-4302-90eb-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    18. repec:dgr:rugsom:12012-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Marcin Bielecki, 2016. "Reforming retirement age in DB and DC pension systems in an aging OLG economy with heterogenous agents," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, December.
    20. Stefan Humer & Mathias Moser & Matthias Schnetzer, 2017. "Inheritances and the Accumulation of Wealth in the Eurozone," ICAE Working Papers 73, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.

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