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Pension reform and capital markets : are there any (hard) links?

  • Walker, Eduardo
  • Lefort, Fernando

The creation of fully funded, privately managed pension systems may have significant positive direct effects on savings, growth, and welfare. However, the indirect link, via capital market development, may be as important. This hypothesis is verified with evidence from emerging economies that have recently engaged in such reforms with a focus on Chile, Argentina and Peru. There is abundant qualitative and anecdotal evidence that relates pension reform with the accumulation of"institutional capital", with the existence of an adaptive legal framework, with increased specialization, transparency and integrity and even with better corporate governance. Evidence of increased financial innovation is also found while there is little evidence of bank disintermediation. In addition, time-series and panel data evidence is generally consistent with the following hypothetical effects: a reduction in the cost of capital; lower security-price volatility; and higher traded volumes. The evidence suggests that the indirect channel via capital market development may have important implications for economic growth and productivity.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes with number 24082.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:24082
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