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Private Pensions, Retirement Wealth and Lifetime Earnings

This paper investigates the effect of private pensions on the retirement wealth distribution. The model incorporates stochastic private pension coverage into a life- cycle model with stochastic earnings. The predictions of the calibrated model are compared to the distribution of retirement net worth and private pension wealth in the PSID. While private pensions lead to higher wealth inequality and reduces the lifetime earnings - retirement wealth correlation, the model still generates too little wealth inequality. However, when we extend the model to include heterogeneous life-cycle earnings profiles and permanent return differences across households, we find that the model largely accounts for the sizeable variation in retirement wealth.

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File URL: http://economics.uwo.ca/epri/workingpapers_docs/wp2010/MacGee_Zhou_02.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute in its series University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers with number 20102.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20102
Contact details of provider: Postal: Economic Policy Research Institute, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/epri_workingpapers.html

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  1. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2006. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 607-643, August.
  2. McCARTHY, DAVID, 2003. "A life-cycle analysis of defined benefit pension plans," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 99-126, July.
  3. Fang (Annie) Yang, 2008. "Accounting for the Heterogeneity in Retirement Wealth," Discussion Papers 08-01, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  4. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 1999. "Effects of pensions on savings: analysis with data from the health and retirement study," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 271-324, June.
  5. Mark Huggett & Gustavo Ventura, 1995. "Understanding why high income households save more than low income households," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 106, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Cagetti, Marco & De Nardi, Mariacristina, 2008. "Wealth Inequality: Data And Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 285-313, September.
  7. Mariacristina deNardi, 2000. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0547, Econometric Society.
  8. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  9. Orazio P. Attanasio & Susann Rohwedder, 2003. "Pension Wealth and Household Saving: Evidence from Pension Reforms in the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1499-1521, December.
  10. Annamaria Lusardi, 2000. "Explaining Why So Many Households Do Not Save," Working Papers 0001, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  11. Lutz Hendricks, 2005. "How Important is Discount Rate Heterogeneity for Wealth Inequality?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1604, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. David McCarthy, 2003. "A Lifecycle Analysis of Defined Benefit Pension Plans," Working Papers wp053, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  13. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2000. "Choice, Chance, and Wealth Dispersion at Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Gary V. Engelhardt & Anil Kumar, 2011. "Pensions and Household Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 203-236.
  15. Santiago Budria Rodriguez & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Vincenzo Quadrini & Jose-Victor Rior-Rull, 2002. "Updated facts on the U.S. distributions of earnings, income, and wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 2-35.
  16. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L. & Tabatabai, Nahid, 2010. "Pensions in the Health and Retirement Study," Economics Books, Harvard University Press, number 9780674048669.
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