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Retirement Expectations and Pension Reforms

We estimate the effect of pension reforms on households' expectations and wealth accumulation decisions. We rely on self-reported expectations to measure perceived social security benefits and to a series of pension reforms as a source of exogenous variations in pension wealth. Two parameters are crucial to estimate pension wealth: the age at which workers expect to retire and the ratio of pension benefits to pre-retirement income (the replacement rate). The Survey of Household Income and Wealth, a large representative sample of the Italian population, elicits these expectations from 1989 to 2000, a period spanning intense pension reforms. These reforms had different impact on different cohorts and employment groups, providing a quasi-experimental framework to study the effect of pension reforms on expectations and household saving. We find substantial offset between private wealth and perceived pension wealth. However, the Italian pension reforms of the 1990s had only limited impact on household saving rates, because people have not yet fully adjusted their expectations of future benefits

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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 92.

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Date of creation: 02 Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economics, 2006, vol. 90, pages 2167-2213
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:92
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  1. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
  2. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1987. "The Timing of Retirement: A Comparison of Expectations and Realizations," NBER Working Papers 2291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2001. "Imperfect Knowledge, Retirement and Saving," Working Papers wp012, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  8. 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.
  9. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski & Jordan Heinz, 2002. "Social Security Expectations and Retirement Savings Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 273, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  10. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  11. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. 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.
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