IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/vfsc19/203527.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Demographic change and the German current account surplus

Author

Listed:
  • Schön, Matthias

Abstract

This paper analyses whether the severe demographic change in Germany causes its high current account surpluses. An ageing population both increases the supply and lowers demand of capital in an economy. Due to a longer life span individuals save more. Fewer workers reduce the optimal capital stock. In addition, there are positive or negative effects on (net) foreign assets depending on how existing public pay as you go pension systems adjust in an ageing society. According to a two region model with endogenous savings, labour supply and a bequest motive that is augmented with actual demographic data projections for OECD countries, the demographic change is a key determinant of the current account. However, it cannot fully account for the magnitude of the recent German surplus. The simulation results further indicate that both a higher retirement age and a fixed pension level with a rising contribution rate reduce foreign assets. If the contribution rate is fixed and the pension level lowered to accommodate this, foreign assets increase.

Suggested Citation

  • Schön, Matthias, 2019. "Demographic change and the German current account surplus," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203527, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc19:203527
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/203527/1/VfS-2019-pid-26951.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
    2. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2007. "On the consequences of demographic change for rates of returns to capital, and the distribution of wealth and welfare," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-87, January.
    3. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
    4. Alexander Ludwig & Michael Reiter, 2010. "Sharing Demographic Risk--Who Is Afraid of the Baby Bust?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 83-118, November.
    5. Mariacristina De Nardi & Eric French & John B. Jones, 2010. "Why Do the Elderly Save? The Role of Medical Expenses," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(1), pages 39-75, February.
    6. Axel B?rsch-Supan & Klaus H?rtl & Alexander Ludwig, 2014. "Aging in Europe: Reforms, International Diversification, and Behavioral Reactions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 224-229, May.
    7. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
    8. Eugeni, Sara, 2015. "An OLG model of global imbalances," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 83-97.
    9. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2012. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 94-107, January.
    10. 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.
    11. James M. Poterba, 2001. "Demographic Structure And Asset Returns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(4), pages 565-584, November.
    12. Tim Buyse & Freddy Heylen & Renaat Van de Kerckhove, 2013. "Pension reform, employment by age, and long-run growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 769-809, April.
    13. Devriendt, Willem & Heylen, Freddy, 2020. "Macroeconomic and distributional effects of demographic change in an open economy—the case of Belgium," Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 86(1), pages 87-124, March.
    14. Paul A. Samuelson, 1958. "An Exact Consumption-Loan Model of Interest with or without the Social Contrivance of Money," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 467-467.
    15. Ferrero, Andrea, 2010. "A structural decomposition of the U.S. trade balance: Productivity, demographics and fiscal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(4), pages 478-490, May.
    16. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & Steven Laufer & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2011. "The Joy of Giving or Assisted Living? Using Strategic Surveys to Separate Public Care Aversion from Bequest Motives," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(2), pages 519-561, April.
    17. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2012. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 94-107, January.
    18. Attanasio Orazio P. & Kitao Sagiri & Violante Giovanni L., 2006. "Quantifying the Effects of the Demographic Transition in Developing Economies," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-44, April.
    19. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1987. "Evaluating Fiscal Policy with a Dynamic Simulation Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 49-55, May.
    20. Attanasio, Orazio & Kitao, Sagiri & Violante, Giovanni L., 2007. "Global demographic trends and social security reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 144-198, January.
    21. Sagiri Kitao, 2018. "Policy Uncertainty and Cost of Delaying Reform: The Case of Aging Japan," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 81-100, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Vogel, Edgar & Ludwig, Alexander & Bã–Rsch-Supan, Axel, 2017. "Aging and pension reform: extending the retirement age and human capital formation," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 81-107, January.
    2. Schön, Matthias & Stähler, Nikolai, 2020. "When old meets young? Germany's population ageing and the current account," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 315-336.
    3. Woodland, A., 2016. "Taxation, Pensions, and Demographic Change," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 713-780, Elsevier.
    4. Ruppert, Kilian & Stähler, Nikolai, 2020. "Household savings, capital investments and public policies: What drives the German current account?," Discussion Papers 41/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    5. Attanasio, O. & Bonfatti, A. & Kitao, S. & Weber, G., 2016. "Global Demographic Trends," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 179-235, Elsevier.
    6. repec:mea:meawpa:12257 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Lee, R., 2016. "Macroeconomics, Aging, and Growth," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 59-118, Elsevier.
    8. Barany, Zsofia & Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Guibaud, Stéphane, 2018. "Capital Flows in an Aging World," CEPR Discussion Papers 13180, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Zsofia Barany & Nicolas Coeurdacier & Stéphane Guibaud, 2015. "Fertility, Longevity and International Capital Flows," Working Papers hal-01164462, HAL.
    10. Daniel Harenberg & Alexander Ludwig, 2019. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Aggregate Risk, And The Welfare Effects Of Social Security," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(2), pages 661-692, May.
    11. Schön, Matthias, 2020. "Demographic change and the rate of return in PAYG pension systems," Discussion Papers 57/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. Papetti, Andrea, 2021. "Demographics and the natural real interest Rate: historical and projected paths for the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    13. Nicolas Coeurdacier, 2016. "Fertility, Longevity, and Capital Flows," 2016 Meeting Papers 442, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Andrea Papetti, 2021. "Population aging, relative prices and capital flows across the globe," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1333, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. Heer, Burkhard & Polito, Vito & Wickens, Michael R., 2020. "Population aging, social security and fiscal limits," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 116(C).
    16. Daniel Harenberg & Alexander Ludwig, "undated". "Social Security and the Interactions Between Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Risk," Working Papers ETH-RC-14-002, ETH Zurich, Chair of Systems Design.
    17. Nishiyama, Shinichi, 2015. "Fiscal policy effects in a heterogeneous-agent OLG economy with an aging population," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 114-132.
    18. Loumrhari, Ghizlan, 2016. "Vieillissement démographique et réforme paramétrique des retraites. Les enseignements d’un modèle EGC-GI pour le Maroc [Ageing and pension reform. A computational olg model for Morocco]," MPRA Paper 74077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Geppert, Christian, 2015. "On the Distributional Implications of Demographic Change," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113070, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Alexander Ludwig & Thomas Schelkle & Edgar Vogel, 2012. "Demographic Change, Human Capital and Welfare," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(1), pages 94-107, January.
    21. Castro, Gabriela & Maria, José R. & Félix, Ricardo Mourinho & Braz, Cláudia Rodrigues, 2017. "Aging And Fiscal Sustainability In A Small Euro Area Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(7), pages 1673-1705, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    demographic change; current account; capital markets; pension system; OLG models;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

    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:vfsc19:203527. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfsocea.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 bibliographic 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.

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

    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.