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Pension reform and income inequality among the elderly in 15 European countries

  • Van Vliet, Olaf
  • Been, Jim
  • Caminada, Koen
  • Goudswaard, Kees

The ageing of populations and hampering economic growth increase pressure on public fi-nances in many advanced capitalist societies. Consequently, governments have adopted pen-sion reforms in order to relieve pressure on public finances. These reforms have contributed to a relative shift from public to private pension schemes. Since private social security plans are generally less redistributive than public social security, it can be hypothesized that the privatization of pension plans has led to higher levels of income inequality among the elderly. Existing empirical literature has mainly focused on cross-country comparisons at one moment in time or on time-series for a single country. This study contributes to the income inequality and pension literature by empirically analysing the distributional effects of shifts from public to private pension provision in 15 European countries for the period 1995-2007, using pooled time series cross-section regression analyses. Remarkably, we do not find empirical evidence that shifts from public to private pension provision lead to higher levels of income inequality or poverty among elderly people. The results appear to be robust for a wide range of econometric specifications.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32940.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32940
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  1. Anupam Nanda & Stephen L. Ross, 2008. "The Impact of Property Condition Disclosure Laws on Housing Prices: Evidence from an Event Study using Propensity Scores," Working papers 2008-39, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  2. Arza, Camila, 2006. "Distributional Impacts of Pension Policy in Argentina," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(02), pages 467-472, June.
  3. Kevin Milligan, 2008. "The Evolution of Elderly Poverty in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(s1), pages 79-94, November.
  4. Goudswaard, Kees & Caminada, Koen, 2008. "The redistributive impact of public and private social expenditure," MPRA Paper 20178, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Clarke, Philip M. & Fiebig, Denzil G. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G., 2008. "Optimal recall length in survey design," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1275-1284, September.
  6. Schirle, Tammy, 2009. "Income Inequality Among Seniors in Canada: The Role of Women's Labour Market Experience," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-68, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Dec 2009.
  7. Andrzej Toroj, 2008. "Estimation of weights for the Monetary Conditions Index in Poland," Working Papers 27, Department of Applied Econometrics, Warsaw School of Economics.
  8. Koen Caminada & Kees Goudswaard, 2005. "Are Public and Private Social Expenditures Complementary?," International Advances in Economic Research, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 11(2), pages 175-189, May.
  9. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  10. David I. Stern, 2005. "Reversal in the Trend of Global Anthropogenic Sulfur Emissions," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0504, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
  11. Christian E. Weller, 2004. "The future of public pensions in the OECD," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 489-504, July.
  12. Wang, Chen & Caminada, Koen, 2011. "Disentangling income inequality and the redistributive effect of social transfers and taxes in 36 LIS countries," MPRA Paper 32821, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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