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Can governments boost voluntary retirement savings via tax incentives and subsidies? A German case study for low-income households

  • Corneo, Giacomo
  • Keese, Matthias
  • Schröder, Carsten

Since 2002 the German government has promoted private retirement saving plans by means of special subsidies and tax incentives (Riester scheme). This policy mainly targets low-income households. Using data from the German Socio-economic Panel, we scrutinize the impact of the Riester scheme on private savings. Our empirical strategy consists of treating the introduction of the Riester scheme as a natural experiment. The estimation results cast some doubts on the effectiveness of the Riester scheme in raising private savings and call for enhanced systematic efforts to evaluate that policy.

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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/27673/1/EWP-2008-18.pdf
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Paper provided by Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2008,18.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cauewp:7413
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  1. Axel Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Daniel Schunk, 2006. "Das Sparverhalten deutscher Haushalte: Erste Erfahrungen mit der Riester-Rente," MEA discussion paper series 06114, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  2. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  3. Nicola Fuchs-Schundeln, 2008. "The Response of Household Saving to the Large Shock of German Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1798-1828, December.
  4. Klaus-Dietrich Bedau, 1999. "Ersparnis und Vorsorgeaufwendungen nach Haushaltsgruppen," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 187, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Pablo Antolín & Alain de Serres & Christine de la Maisonneuve, 2004. "Long-Term Budgetary Implications of Tax-Favoured Retirement Plans," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 393, OECD Publishing.
  6. Börsch-Supan, Axel H. & Reil-Held, Anette & Rodepeter, Ralf & Schnabel, Reinhold & Winter, Joachim, 2001. "The German Savings Puzzle," Munich Reprints in Economics 20236, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, 2008. "The Response of Household Saving to the Large Shock of German Reunification," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-21, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2008.
  8. Felix Freyland, 2005. "Household Composition and Savings: An Empirical Analysis based on the German SOEP Data," MEA discussion paper series 05088, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  9. Kwang-Yeol Yoo & Alain de Serres, 2004. "Tax Treatment of Private Pension Savings in OECD Countries and the Net Tax Cost Per Unit of Contribution to Tax-Favoured Schemes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 406, OECD Publishing.
  10. Friedrich Breyer, 2001. "Why Funding Is not a Solution to the "Social Security Crisis"," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 254, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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