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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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  • Erling Holmøy & Kyrre Stensnes, 2008. "Will the Norwegian pension reform reach its goals? An integrated micro-macro assessment," Discussion Papers 557, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:557
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    1. Holmøy, Erling & Strøm, Birger, 2013. "Computable General Equilibrium Assessments of Fiscal Sustainability in Norway," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, in: Peter B. Dixon & Dale Jorgenson (ed.), Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 105-158, Elsevier.
    2. Dennis Fredriksen & Erling Holmøy & Birger Strøm & Nils Martin Stølen, 2015. "Fiscal effects of the Norwegian pension reform. A micro-macro assessment," Discussion Papers 821, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Holmøy, Erling, 2016. "The development and use of CGE models in Norway," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 448-474.
    4. Torfinn Harding & Frederick Ploeg, 2013. "Official forecasts and management of oil windfalls," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(5), pages 827-866, October.
    5. Fehr, Hans, 2016. "CGE modeling social security reforms," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 475-494.
    6. Dennis Fredriksen & Nils Martin Stølen, 2015. "Life time pension benefits relative to life time contributions," Discussion Papers 825, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    7. repec:noj:journl:v:38:y:2013:p:2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Torfinn Harding & Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2009. "Is Norway's Bird-in-Hand Stabilization Fund Prudent Enough? Fiscal Reactions to Hydrocarbon Windfalls and Graying Populations," CESifo Working Paper Series 2830, CESifo.
    9. Sigurd Mølster Galaasen, 2021. "Pension Reform Disabled," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 123(4), pages 1227-1260, October.
    10. Christian Hagist & Bernd Raffelhüschen & Alf Erling Risa & Erling Vårdal, 2013. "Long-Term Fiscal Effects of Public Pension Reform in Norway – A Generational Accounting Analysis," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 38, pages 1-2.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pension reforms; Fiscal sustainability; Income distribution; Computable general equilibrium model; Dynamic micro simulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • H62 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Deficit; Surplus
    • H68 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Forecasts of Budgets, Deficits, and Debt
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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