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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. 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.
  2. CREMER, Helmuth & GAHVARI, Firouz & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 2006. "Pensions with heterogenous individuals and endogenous fertility," CORE Discussion Papers 2006015, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Charles Hohm, 1975. "Social security and fertility: An international perspective," Demography, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 629-644, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Helmut Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Pierre Pestieau, 2006. "Pensions with endogenous and stochastic fertility," Working Papers 22594, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Beck, Thorsten & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2008. "Financing patterns around the world: Are small firms different?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 467-487, September.
  11. 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, School of Economics and Management.
  12. Meier, Volker & Wrede, Matthias, 2010. "Pensions, fertility, and education," Munich Reprints in Economics 19214, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. Michele Boldrin & Mariacristina De Nardi & Larry E. Jones, 2005. "Fertility and Social Security," NBER Working Papers 11146, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Robert Fenge & Volker Meier, 2003. "Pensions and Fertility Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 879, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3132806 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Robert Fenge & Volker Meier, 2004. "Are Family Allowances and Fertility-related pensions Siamese Twins?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1157, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
  19. Ab O, G. & Mahieu, G. & Patxot, C., 2004. "On the optimality of PAYG pension systems in an endogenous fertility setting," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 35-62, March.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125518 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. 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.
  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. Alessandro Cigno & Martin Werding, 2007. "Children and Pensions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262033690, August.
  27. 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.
  28. Martin Kolmar, 1997. "Intergenerational redistribution in a small open economy with endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 335-356.
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