Means-Tested Age Pension and Homeownership: Is There a Link?
Several targeted welfare programs across the world have made owner-occupied housing exempt from the means test, such as the Supplementary Social Income (SSI) in the US and the age pension scheme in Australia. Relatively little is known about the impact of such exemption on household portfolio choice. We study the case of the Australian age pension scheme, and argue that current uncapped exemption may lead to distortionary incentives for very high levels of housing wealth to be sheltered from the means test. We set up a quantitative lifecycle framework, with business and housing investment, borrowing constraints, and wealth inequality, that is able to match a number of key features in the Australian economy. We find that abolishing the current exemption of owner-occupied housing in the assets test increases aggregate output, capital accumulation, and welfare, while lowering housing investment and homeownership. However, removing such distortions, however, does not necessarily imply that all households would be better off. The lowering of other taxes to maintain fiscal balance would result in households at the top of the wealth distribution experiencing a large welfare loss, however the majority of the population would benefit.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Australian School of Business Building, Sydney 2052|
Fax: +61)-2- 9313- 6337
Web page: http://www.economics.unsw.edu.au/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Neumark, David & Powers, Elizabeth, 1998.
"The effect of means-tested income support for the elderly on pre-retirement saving: evidence from the SSI program in the U.S,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 181-206, May.
- David Neumark & Elizabeth Powers, 1997. "The Effect of Means-Tested Income Support for the Elderly on Pre-Retirement Saving: Evidence from the SSI Program in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 6303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2011. "The portfolio effect of pension reforms: evidence from Italy," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 75-97, January.
- Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 1992.
"Saving, Growth and Liquidity Constraints,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2009.
"Accounting For Changes In The Homeownership Rate,"
International Economic Review,
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 677-726, 08.
- Yoshiro Miwa & Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2004. "Accounting for Changes in the Homeownership Rate," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-312, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
- Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2007. "Accounting for changes in the homeownership rate," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2007-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga, 2005. "Accounting for Changes in the Homeownership Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 304, Society for Computational Economics.
- Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2007. "Accounting for changes in the homeownership rate," Working Papers 2007-034, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
- Ortalo-Magné, François & Rady, Sven, 2001.
"Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3015, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Sven Rady & François Ortalo-Magné, 2001. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints," CESifo Working Paper Series 470, CESifo Group Munich.
- François Ortalo-Magné & Sven Rady, 2002. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 02-01, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
- Sven Rady, 2001. "Housing Market Dynamics: on the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraints," FMG Discussion Papers dp375, Financial Markets Group.
- Ortalo-Magné, François & Rady, Sven, 2005. "Housing Market Dynamics: On the Contribution of Income Shocks and Credit Constraint," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 50, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
- Gervais, Martin, 2002.
"Housing taxation and capital accumulation,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
- Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
- Kudrna, George & Woodland, Alan, 2011. "An inter-temporal general equilibrium analysis of the Australian age pension means test," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 61-79, March.
- Chung Tran & Alan Woodland, 2011.
"Trade-Offs in Means Tested Pension Design,"
ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics
2011-550, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
- Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
- Dr Justin van de Ven & Dr Martin Weale, 2006. "Means Testing Retirement Benefits: fostering equity or discouraging savings?," NIESR Discussion Papers 283, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
- James Sefton & Justin vandeVen & Martin Weale, 2008. "Means Testing Retirement Benefits: fostering equity or discouraging savings?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 556-590, 04.
- Sang-Wook (Stanley) Cho & Renuka Sane, 2014. "Means-tested Age-Pension and Saving," Discussion Papers 2014-03, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
- Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Alexander Michaelides & Kalin Nikolov, 2010. "Winners and Losers in House Markets," Working Papers 2010-5, Central Bank of Cyprus.
- Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
- repec:nsr:niesrd:283 is not listed on IDEAS
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2011-02. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gabriele Gratton)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.