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Will the Norwegian pension reform reach its goals? An integrated micro-macro assessment

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    The Norwegian pension reform of 2006 intends to (1) improve long run fiscal sustainability by reducing the growth in public old-age expenditures, (2) strengthen labour supply incentives, and (3) maintain the main redistributive features of the present system. We assess to what extent the reform is likely to achieve these three goals, using two empirical models iteratively: We combine a detailed dynamic micro simulation of individual benefits and government pension expenditures with a CGE-model, which captures behavioural effects and equilibrium repercussions. We find that the pension reform improves fiscal balances substantially. Compared to a no-reform scenario, the payroll tax rate can be cut by 10 percentage points in 2050. Increased employment contributes more to the fiscal improvement than the reduction in pension expenditures. However, these changes are basically level effects; the reform has a surprisingly small effect on the growth rate of the necessary tax burden starting in 2020. In particular, the growth rate of public pension expenditures is hardly affected. Stronger government finances and higher employment is obtained at the expense of a significant increase income inequality among old age pensioners.

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    File URL: http://www.ssb.no/a/publikasjoner/pdf/DP/dp557.pdf
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    Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 557.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:557
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    1. Holger Bonin, 2001. "Will it Last? An Assessment of the 2001 German Pension Reform," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(4), pages 547-564, October.
    2. Martin Feldstein, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 33-55, Spring.
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    4. Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 437-473 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hans Fehr & Wenche Irén Sterkeby & Øystein Thøgersen, 2003. "Social security reforms and early retirement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 345-361, 05.
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    7. Bonin, Holger, 2001. "Will it Last? An Assessment of the 2001 German Pension Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 343, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Assar Lindbeck, 2006. "Sustainable social spending," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 303-324, August.
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    12. Lindbeck, Assar & Persson, Mats, 2002. "The Gains from Pension Reform," Working Paper Series 580, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    13. Heckman, James J, 1993. "What Has Been Learned about Labor Supply in the Past Twenty Years?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 116-21, May.
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    16. Fehr, Hans, 1999. "Pension reform during the demographic transition," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 8, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
    17. Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "New Evidence on Pensions, Social Security, and the Timing of Retirement," NBER Working Papers 6534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Feldstein, Martin, 2005. "Structural Reform of Social Security," Scholarly Articles 2794830, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    19. Lans Bovenberg & Thijs Knaap, 2005. "Ageing, Funded Pensions and the Dutch Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1403, CESifo Group Munich.
    20. Thai-Thanh Dang & Pablo Antolín & Howard Oxley, 2001. "Fiscal Implications of Ageing: Projections of Age-Related Spending," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
    21. Katherine Grace Carman & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2003. "The Impact on Consumption and Saving of Current and Future Fiscal Policies," NBER Working Papers 10085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Fiscal Effects of Social Security Reform in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications of Reform, pages 503-532 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2004. "Do changes in pension incentives affect retirement? A longitudinal study of subjective retirement expectations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1307-1333, July.
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