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The Effects of Pension Reform on Retirement and Human Capital Formation


  • Kai-Joseph Fleischhauer



The demographic transition in industrialized countries poses challenges to the pension system which is essentially organized according to the pay-as-you-go principle in most countries. This paper aims at analyzing two proposals for pension reform in a theoretical model that endogenously explains the retirement and training decision of workers who are heterogeneous in ability. Because the economic benefits of motivating late retirement strongly depend on the employment prospects of workers near retirement age, the model includes the firms' employment decision at the extensive margin. The first reform proposal, the implementation of individual retirement accounts, increases the workers' incentives to acquire skills and to postpone retirement. However, if the capital funded pillar of the pension system becomes strong, low-ability workers may not attain their optimal retirement age because firms refuse to employ them any longer. In a similar manner, the second reform proposal to increase the minimum retirement age may not work for lowability workers if their separation date is determined by the firms before the minimum retirement age is achieved.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai-Joseph Fleischhauer, 2007. "The Effects of Pension Reform on Retirement and Human Capital Formation," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-03, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de la Croix, David & Licandro, Omar, 1999. "Life expectancy and endogenous growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 255-263, November.
    2. Galasso, Vincenzo & Profeta, Paola, 2002. "The political economy of social security: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, March.
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    More about this item


    Pension Reform; Endogenous Retirement; Human Capital Formation; Tax-Benefit Link; Individual Retirement Accounts; Minimum Retirement Age;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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