IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/rwirep/677.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bismarck in the bedroom? Pension reform and fertility: Evidence 1870-2010

Author

Listed:
  • Jäger, Philipp

Abstract

Rising public pension generosity has frequently been cited as one reason for the (persistently) declining fertility rates in many advanced economies. Despite the theoretical appeal, empirical evidence on the pension-fertility nexus is limited. To fill this gap, I study country-level fertility trends before and after 23 pension reforms using a long-run panel dataset starting in 1870. In addition to the raw fertility rate (birth per women aged 15-49), I examine the residuals of a fertility regression, which capture variations in the fertility rate that cannot be explained by alternative theories of the historical fertility decline. Contrasting pre- and post-reform trends of the raw fertility rate as well as the fertility regression residual across countries, I do not find robust evidence that pension reforms, on average, affect fertility in the way most theoretical models predict. On the individual country level, however, some reforms are indeed associated with a significant structural break in fertility trends that is in line with the old-age security hypothesis. Varying social ties might provide an explanation for the different country-specific fertility reactions to pension reforms.

Suggested Citation

  • Jäger, Philipp, 2017. "Bismarck in the bedroom? Pension reform and fertility: Evidence 1870-2010," Ruhr Economic Papers 677, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:677
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/155287/1/880931566.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cutler, David & Johnson, Richard, 2004. "The Birth and Growth of the Social Insurance State: Explaining Old-Age and Medical Insurance Across Countries," Scholarly Articles 2643658, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2005. "Which Countries Have State Religions?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1331-1370.
    3. Bas van Groezen & L. Meijdam, 2004. "Growing Old and Staying Young: Population Policy in an Ageing Closed Economy," Working Papers 04-28, Utrecht School of Economics.
    4. Bas Groezen & Lex Meijdam, 2008. "Growing old and staying young: population policy in an ageing closed economy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 573-588, July.
    5. Michele BOLDRIN & Mariacristina DE NARDI & Larry E. JONES, 2015. "Fertility and Social Security," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 261-299, September.
    6. David M. Cutler & Richard Johnson, 2004. "The Birth and Growth of the Social Insurance State: Explaining Old Age and Medical Insurance Across Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 120(1_2), pages 87-121, July.
    7. Timothy W. Guinnane, 2011. "The Historical Fertility Transition: A Guide for Economists," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 589-614, September.
    8. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2011. "From Financial Crash to Debt Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1676-1706, August.
    9. 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.
    10. Charles Hohm, 1975. "Social security and fertility: An international perspective," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 12(4), pages 629-644, November.
    11. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
    12. Alberto Basso, 2015. "Does Democracy Foster the Fertility Transition?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 459-474, November.
    13. Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2014. "Fertility and Wars: The Case of World War I in France," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 108-136, April.
    14. Robert Fenge & Beatrice Scheubel, 2013. "Pensions and Fertility: Back to the Roots - The Introduction of Bismarck's Pension Scheme and the European Fertility Decline," CESifo Working Paper Series 4383, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. 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.
    16. repec:cup:jdemec:v:81:y:2015:i:03:p:261-299_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Robert Fenge & Beatrice Scheubel, 2017. "Pensions and fertility: back to the roots," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(1), pages 93-139, January.
    18. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(4), pages 319-341.
    19. Gauthier, Anne Helene, 1998. "The State and the Family: A Comparative Analysis of Family Policies in Industrialized Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198294993.
    20. 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.
    21. Andrew A. Samwick, 2000. "Is Pension Reform Conducive to Higher Saving?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 264-272, May.
    22. Scheubel, Beatrice & Fenge, Robert, 2014. "Pensions and fertility: back to the roots - The introduction of Bismarck's pension scheme and the European fertility decline," Working Paper Series 1734, European Central Bank.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Old-age security; fertility; pension reform;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:677. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/rwiesde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.