Aging population and public pensions: theory and evidence
Rapidly aging population in high-income countries has exerted additional pressure on the sustainability of public pension expenditure. We present a formal model of public pension expenditure under endogenous human capital, where the latter facilitates a substantial decrease in equilibrium fertility rate alongside the improvement in life expectancy. We demonstrate how higher life expectancy and human capital endowment facilitate the rise of net replacement rate. We provide and examine an empirical model of old-age expenditure in a panel of 33 countries in the period 1998–2008. Our results indicate that increases in total fertility rate and effective retirement age would reduce age-related expenditure substantially. While higher net replacement rate would alleviate the risk of old-age poverty, it would endanger long-term sustainability of public finance by imposing additional pressure on deficit and public debt.
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