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The Portfolio Effect of Pension Reforms

We estimate the portfolio effect of changes in social security wealth exploiting a decade of Italian pension reforms as a source of exogenous variation. The Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth records detailed portfolio data and elicits expectations of retirement outcomes, thus allowing us to measure the expected social security wealth and to assess to what extent Italian households perceive the innovations brought about by the reforms. We find that households have responded to the cut in pension benefits mostly by increasing real estate wealth, and that the response is stronger among households that are able to estimate more accurately future social security benefits. We also compute that for the average household consumable wealth increases by 40 percent of the reduction in social security wealth.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 234.

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Date of creation: 10 Jul 2009
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, 2011, 10(1), 75-97
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:234
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  1. Orazio P. Attanasio & Susann Rohwedder, 2003. "Pension Wealth and Household Saving: Evidence from Pension Reforms in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1499-1521, December.
  2. Riccardo Cesari & Giuseppe Grande & Fabio Panetta, 2007. "Supplementary pension schemes in Italy: features, development and opportunities for workers," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 8, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  3. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1999. "Taxation and Saving," NBER Working Papers 7061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. R. C. Merton, 1970. "Optimum Consumption and Portfolio Rules in a Continuous-time Model," Working papers 58, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Sinai, Todd & Souleles, Nicholas S., 2007. "Net worth and housing equity in retirement," CFS Working Paper Series 2007/34, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  7. Feldstein, Martin & Pellechio, Anthony, 1979. "Social Security and Household Wealth Accumulation: New Microeconometric Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 361-68, August.
  8. Jappelli, Tullio & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2003. "Tax incentives and the demand for life insurance: evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1779-1799, August.
  9. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2187-2212, December.
  10. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
  11. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Housing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 535-567.
  12. Giovanni Guazzarotti & Pietro Tommasino, 2008. "The Annuity Market in an Evolving Pension System: Lessons from Italy," CeRP Working Papers 77, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  13. Orazio P. Attanasio & Agar Brugiavini, 2003. "Social Security And Households' Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1075-1119, August.
  14. Merton, Robert C, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection under Uncertainty: The Continuous-Time Case," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 247-57, August.
  15. Agar Brugiavini, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 181-237 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2005. "Retirement Expectations, Pension Reforms and Their Effect on Private Wealth Accumulation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2005. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 763-789, May.
  18. Samuelson, Paul A, 1969. "Lifetime Portfolio Selection by Dynamic Stochastic Programming," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(3), pages 239-46, August.
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