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Demographics, pension systems, and the current account: an empirical assessment using the IMF current account model

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  • Miriam Koomen
  • Laurence Wicht

Abstract

This paper empirically assesses the link between demographics, pension systems, and current account (CA) balances using the IMF External Balance Assessment (EBA) model. We propose two refinements to the EBA model. We first refine the existing demographic variables to better account for the entire population age structure of countries. Compared to the EBA specification, we find a more robust, smoother, and economically intuitive effect of demographics on CA balances across countries. We then introduce new indicators to account for pension systems. We find a positive and statistically significant relationship between the generosity and coverage of fully funded pension systems and CA balances. Our refinements broadly improve the EBA model fit, especially for advanced economies with a fully funded pension system.

Suggested Citation

  • Miriam Koomen & Laurence Wicht, 2020. "Demographics, pension systems, and the current account: an empirical assessment using the IMF current account model," Working Papers 2020-23, Swiss National Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2020-23
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Current account; demographics; public pensions; EBA model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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