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Savings: The Policy Debate in Europe

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  • Börsch-Supan, Axel

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Brugiavini, Agar

    () (University Ca`Foscari)

Abstract

Three issues dominate the political debate over savings in Europe: First, can private savings substitute for public pensions in the provision of retirement income, given that the current generosity of pay-as-you-go financed pensions is hardly sustainable in the light of population ageing? And if so, which policy steps have to be taken to alleviate this transition? Will there be sufficient saving? Which side effects are to be expected? The second recurrent issue concerns the evolution of a 'new financial landscape' in Europe that might necessitate policy response in terms of taxation and regulation. Specifically, how should pensions be taxed and regulated? A third closely related and hotly debated issue is harmonisation: How much harmonisation of pensions and, more generally, capital taxation is necessary in the process of European integration? The paper discusses these issues from a Continental European point of view. Our main task is to collect and review the pieces of economic theory and empirical evidence that are at our disposal in order to make informed policy choices; however, we also try to identify the gaps in our theoretical and empirical knowledge in order to caution against overly strong policy recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Börsch-Supan, Axel & Brugiavini, Agar, 2000. "Savings: The Policy Debate in Europe," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-14, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:01-14
    Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Börsch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2006. "Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(292), pages 625-658, November.
    2. Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner Röger, 2003. "Economic and financial market consequences of ageing populations," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 182, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. Axel Boersch-Supan & Alexander Ludwig & Joachim Winter, 2001. "Aging and International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 8553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2004. "Mind the Gap: The Effectiveness of Incentives to boost Retirement Saving in Europe," MEA discussion paper series 04052, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Lothar Essig, 2002. "Stockholding in Germany," MEA discussion paper series 02019, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    6. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2004. "MIND THE GAP: The Effectiveness of Incentives to Boost Retirement Saving in Europe," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-27, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    7. Van de Ven, Justin, 2011. "Do Defined Contribution Pensions Correct for Short-Sighted Savings Decisions? Evidence from the UK," Papers WP399, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. Brigitte Granville & Sushanta Mallick, 2004. "Pension reforms and saving gains in the United Kingdom," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 123-136.

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    JEL classification:

    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General

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