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Investing for the old age : pensions, children and savings

  • Galasso, Vincenzo
  • Gatti, Roberta
  • Profeta, Paola

In the last century most countries have experienced both an increase in pension spending and a decline in fertility. The authors argue that the interplay of pension generosity and development of capital markets is crucial to understand fertility decisions. Since children have traditionally represented for parents a form of retirement saving, particularly in economies with limited or non-existent capital markets, an exogenous increase of pension spending provides a saving technology alternative to children, thus relaxing financial (saving) constraints and reducing fertility. The authors build a simple two-period overlapping generations (OLG) model to show that an increase in pensions is associated with a larger decrease in fertility in countries in which individuals have less access to financial markets. Cross-country regression analysis supports result: an interaction between various measures of pension generosity and a proxy for the development of financial markets consistently enters the regressions positively and significantly, suggesting that in economies with limited financial markets, children represent a way for parents to save for old age, and that increases in pensions amount effectively to relaxing these constraints.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 47101.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:47101
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  1. Volker Meier & Robert Fenge, 2004. "Are Family Allowances And Fertility-Related Pensions Siamese Twins?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 125, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Berthold U. Wigger, 1999. "Pay-as-you-go financed public pensions in a model of endogenous growth and fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 625-640.
  3. Helmuth Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Pierre Pestieau, 2008. "Pensions with heterogenous individuals and endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 961-981, October.
  4. Alessandro Cigno & Luca Casolaro & Furio C. Rosati, 2002. "The Impact of Social Security on Saving and Fertility in Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(2), pages 189-, May.
  5. Volker Meier & Matthias Wrede, 2005. "Pension, Fertility, and Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 1521, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The pay-as-you-go pension system as fertility insurance and an enforcement device," Munich Reprints in Economics 938, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre & GAHVARI, Firouz, 2004. "Pensions with endogenous and stochastic fertility," CORE Discussion Papers 2004067, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. G. Abío & Geraldine Mahieu & Cio Patxot, 2003. "On the Optimality of PAYG Pension Systems in an Endogenous Fertility Setting," CESifo Working Paper Series 1050, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1996. "Social security in a non-altruistic model with uncertainty and endogenous fertility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 283-294, May.
  10. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  11. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1998. "The Pay-As You-Go Pension System as a Fertility Insurance and Enforcement Device," CEPR Discussion Papers 2023, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. van Groezen, Bas & Leers, Theo & Meijdam, Lex, 2003. "Social security and endogenous fertility: pensions and child allowances as siamese twins," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 233-251, February.
  13. Isaac Ehrlich & Jinyoung Kim, 2007. "Social Security and Demographic Trends: Theory and Evidence from the International Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(1), pages 55-77, January.
  14. Michele Boldrin & Larry E. Jones, 2002. "Mortality, Fertility, and Saving in a Malthusian Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 775-814, October.
  15. Robert Fenge & Volker Meier, 2005. "Pensions and fertility incentives," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(1), pages 28-48, February.
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  17. Cigno, Alessandro, 1995. "Public pensions with endogenous fertility: Comment on Nishimura and Zhang," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 169-173, May.
  18. Robert Fenge & Jakob Weizsäcker, 2010. "Mixing Bismarck and child pension systems: an optimum taxation approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 805-823, March.
  19. Michele Boldrin & Maria Cristina De Nardi & Larry E. Jones, 2005. "Fertility and Social Security," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000506, UCLA Department of Economics.
  20. Charles Hohm, 1975. "Social security and fertility: An international perspective," Demography, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 629-644, November.
  21. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio Camillo, 1992. "The Effects of Financial Markets and Social Security on Saving and Fertility Behaviour in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 319-41.
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  23. Alessandro Cigno & Martin Werding, 2007. "Children and Pensions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033690, June.
  24. Martin Kolmar, 1997. "Intergenerational redistribution in a small open economy with endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 335-356.
  25. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
  26. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Maksimovic, V., 2008. "Financing patterns around the world : Are small firms different?," Other publications TiSEM 7078f1cc-51a6-4556-b193-d, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  27. Ehrlich, Isaac & Lui, Francis T, 1998. "Social Security, the Family, and Economic Growth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 390-409, July.
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