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Inequality and Defined Benefit Pensions when Life Expectancy is Heterogeneous

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  • Kemptner, Daniel
  • Haan, Peter
  • Prowse, Victoria

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze how life expectancy-driven redistribution of income through a defined pension benefit system impacts on inequality in annual consumption. Our analysis combines a methodology that quantifies life expectancy-driven redistribution through the pension system with a structural life-cycle model in which labor supply, retirement and consumption decisions respond to changes in the pension system. Based on the estimated model, we show that the German pension system induces a large regressive redistribution of life-time income, and this redistribution increases inequality in average annual consumption. Behavioral responses to the pension system matter for the results. Increasing progressivity in pension contributions or pension benefits only partially offsets the life expectancy-driven redistribution via the pension system.

Suggested Citation

  • Kemptner, Daniel & Haan, Peter & Prowse, Victoria, 2015. "Inequality and Defined Benefit Pensions when Life Expectancy is Heterogeneous," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112867, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc15:112867
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 2001. "How effective is redistribution under the social security benefit formula?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-28, October.
    2. Haan, Peter & Prowse, Victoria, 2014. "Longevity, life-cycle behavior and pension reform," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P3), pages 582-601.
    3. Attanasio, Orazio P & Weber, Guglielmo, 1995. "Is Consumption Growth Consistent with Intertemporal Optimization? Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1121-1157, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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