nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2010‒04‒04
thirteen papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Perceptions of Job Security in Europe's Ageing Workforce By Karsten Hank
  2. The Piggy Bank Index: Matching Canadians’ Savings Rates to Their Retirement Dreams By David A. Dodge; Alexandre Laurin; Colin Busby
  3. The Dutch system of long-term care By Esther Mot
  4. The Role of the Annuity’s Value on the Decision (Not) to Annuitize: Evidence from a Large Policy Change By Monika Bütler
  5. Pension Reform Options for Russia and Ukraine: A Critical Analysis of Available Options and Their Expected Outcomes By Marek Gora; Oleksandr Rohozynsky; Oksana Sinyavskaya
  6. Payouts in Switzerland: Explaining Developments in Annuitization By Monika Bütler; Stefan Staubli
  7. Public Pensions, Changing Employment Patterns, and the Impact of Pension Reforms across Birth Cohorts: A Microsimulation Analysis for Germany By Johannes Geyer; Viktor Steiner
  8. Late-Life Decline in Well-Being across Adulthood in Germnay, the UK, and the US: Something is Seriously Wrong at the End of Life By Denis Gerstorf; Nilam Ram; Guy Mayraz; Mira Hidajat; Ulman Lindenberger; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
  9. Optimal Design of Means Tested Retirement Benefits By Justin van de Ven; James Sefton
  10. Long-term Care Responsibility and its Opportunity Costs By Annika Meng
  11. Public Pension and Insurance: Public Pension System scheduled as an Insurance By Masatoshi Yamada
  12. How to Pay for the Crisis or Macroeconomic implications of pension reform By Ray Barrell; Ian Hurst; Simon Kirby
  13. Demographic Change and the Labour Share of Income By Torsten Schmidt; Simeon Vosen

  1. By: Karsten Hank (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: Using data from the 2004 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, this paper investigates older workers’ perceptions of job security in eleven countries. We describe cross-national patterns and estimate multilevel models to analyse individual and societal determinants of self-perceived job security in the older labour force. While there are considerable cross-country variations around a median value of 23% of workers aged 50 or older ranking their job security as poor, none of our suggested macro-level variables – labour force participation rate, employment protection legislation, mean level of general social trust, and proportion disapproving of working beyond age 70 – bears statistically significant associations with individuals’ job security. Future research should aim at identifying statistically more powerful indicators of the supposed multilevel relationship between social context and older workers’ perceptions of job security. Moreover, supplementary findings indicate that further attention should be paid to the gender dimension of job insecurity.
    Date: 2009–04–03
  2. By: David A. Dodge (Bennett Jones LLP); Alexandre Laurin (C.D. Howe Institute); Colin Busby (C.D. Howe Institute)
    Abstract: As Canada’s babyboom generation approaches retirement age, public concern about the adequacy of retirement income is mounting, note the authors. Most of the public debate has been about potential reform of the tax and fiduciary rules governing corporate pension plans, the possibility of expanding contributory public pension plans such as the CPP/QPP, about how much tax-deferred saving the Income Tax Act should allow, and for how long. To date, say the authors, there has been little focus on the fraction of annual earnings that must be saved by Canadians – either through employer plans, private saving, or expanded contributions to a public plan – to provide adequate and reasonably assured retirement incomes.
    Keywords: Pension Papers, retirement income, Registered Retirement Savings (RRSPs), Canada Pension Plan (CPP/QPP), Income Tax Act
    JEL: E21
    Date: 2010–03
  3. By: Esther Mot
    Abstract: This document describes the Dutch system of long-term care (LTC) for the elderly. An overview of LTC policy is also given. This document is part of the first stage of the European project ANCIEN (Assessing Needs of Care in European Nations), commissioned by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Since the first stage of the project aims to facilitate structured comparisons of the organisation of LTC for the elderly in different countries, comparable reports have been written for most other European countries (including new member states). Future analyses in subsequent work packages within the project will build on these country reports.
    Keywords: long-term care; elderly; institutions; healthcare
    JEL: H51 I18
    Date: 2010–03
  4. By: Monika Bütler
    Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on how the annuitization decision is affected by changes in the annuity’s value. We take advantage of an unprecedented change in policy in a number of Swiss occupational pension plans: The 20 percent reduction in the rate at which retirement capital is translated into a life-long annuity implied a net present value loss of approximately 20’000 SFR (18’000 US$) for the average affected retiree. To estimate the impact of the policy change we use administrative data from companies who did and one big company who did not change its price. Correcting for anticipation effects, we show that there was an approximately 14 percentage point decrease in the share of men choosing to annuitize their savings.
    Keywords: Annuity Puzzle, Occupational Pension, Policy Change
    JEL: H31 J22 H53 D13
    Date: 2010–02
  5. By: Marek Gora; Oleksandr Rohozynsky; Oksana Sinyavskaya
    Abstract: This paper provides the results of analyses of key problems related to pension systems and their reforms in Russia and Ukraine. The pension systems and their reforms in both countries are compared. They are also compared with the general picture observed in the OECD or selected countries belonging to that area. The analysis focuses on long-term trends rather than short-term shocks. The recent economic crisis is not covered since the analysis was mostly completed by 2008. First, we present the general picture which describes the current demographic and economic situations as well as the challenges that are being faced. Then we turn to reform options and actions already taken. We particularly focus on issues that are specific to the countries analyzed.
    Keywords: pension reform, pension system, labour market, transition, industrial restructuring, social security, public finance, Russia, Ukraine
    JEL: H53 H55 H69 J11 J18 J32 J38 P36
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Monika Bütler; Stefan Staubli
    Abstract: Switzerland is one of the few countries with long-term experience on the payout decisions made by retirees in fully-funded pension plans. Switzerland is also atypical in its unusually high annuitization rates: A majority of retirees covered by mandatory occupational pension plans choose an annuity. This paper will shed light on this extraordinary aspect. It revisits the historical role of occupational pension plans in the provision of old age income, and examines the role of regulation in the payout phase of the scheme. Recent developments in both market conditions and regulations are used to assess the impact of certain determinants of the annuitization decision, such as money’s worth ratios (MWR), means-tested benefits and behavioral factors.
    Keywords: Annuity Puzzle, Occupational Pension, Annuity, Lump Sum
    JEL: D81 D91 G23 J26
    Date: 2010–02
  7. By: Johannes Geyer; Viktor Steiner
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of changing employment patterns and pension reforms on the future level of public pensions across birth cohorts in Germany. The analysis is based on a rich dataset that combines household survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) and process-produced microdata from the German pension insurance. A microsimulation model is developed which accounts for cohort effects in individual employment and unemployment and earnings over the lifecycle as well as the differential impact of recent pension reforms. Cohort effects for individuals born between 1937 and 1971 vary greatly by region, gender and education and strongly affect lifecycle wage profiles. The largest effects can be observed for younger cohorts in East Germany and for the low educated. Using simulated life cycle employment and income profiles, we project gross future pensions across cohorts taking into account changing demographics and recent pension reforms. Simulations show that pension levels for East German men and women will fall dramatically among younger birth cohorts, not only because of policy reforms but due to higher cumulated unemployment. For West German men, the small reduction of average pension levels among younger birth cohorts is mainly driven by the impact of pension reforms, while future pension levels of West German women are increasing or stable due to rising labor market participation of younger birth cohorts.
    Keywords: Public pensions, cohort effects, microsimulation
    JEL: H55 J26 J11
    Date: 2010
  8. By: Denis Gerstorf; Nilam Ram; Guy Mayraz; Mira Hidajat; Ulman Lindenberger; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
    Abstract: Throughout adulthood and old age, levels of well-being appear to remain relatively stable. However, evidence is emerging that late in life well-being declines considerably. Using long-term longitudinal data of deceased participants in national samples from Germany, the UK, and the US, we examine how long this period lasts. In all three nations and across the adult age range, well-being was relatively stable over age, but declined rapidly with impending death. Articulating notions of terminal decline associated with impending death, we identified prototypical transition points in each study between three and five years prior to death, after which normative rates of decline steepened by a factor of three or more. The findings suggest that mortality-related mechanisms drive late-life changes in well-being and highlight the need for further refinement of psychological concepts about how and when late-life declines in psychosocial functioning prototypically begin.
    Keywords: Selective mortality, successful aging, differential aging, psychosocial factors, well-being, multiphase growth model
    Date: 2010
  9. By: Justin van de Ven; James Sefton
    Abstract: The design of welfare benefits is a tricky business. In this respect, James Meade placed particular emphasis on the importance of avoiding excessive distortions to the price of labour. Nevertheless, Meade noted that means testing in the delivery of welfare benefits is likely to be desirable in view of the “hideously expensive” cost of universal benefits provision — he conjectured that £1 of benefits lost for every £2 of private income earned might be appropriate. In this study we take a fresh look at the role of means testing in the provision of retirement benefits in the United Kingdom. We use an articulated rational agent model of the household to explore the effects on welfare of alternative budgetary neutral pensions arrangements. We find that extensive means testing of retirement benefits is preferred, consistent with the conjectures stated by Meade. Our analysis highlights the importance of taking into account the distortions associated with alternative methods of benefits financing when considering pensions reform.
    Date: 2009–05
  10. By: Annika Meng
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between long-term care provision and the average individual wage rate. In addition, the eff ects of the number of hours spent on caregiving on the probability of employment as well as on the number of hours worked are examined. Data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE) of 2004 and 2006 is used to analyze caregiving eff ects on the European labor market. Descriptive statistics show a positive correlation between hours of care and the wage rate for those working. In the regression analysis, sample-selection models combined with instrumental-variable estimation are used to estimate the causal eff ects of hours of care on wages. The results illustrate that care for parents has a large negative impact on the individual’s wage rate. Test results show that controlling for sample selection is reasonable. Finally, the probability of employment is only decreased in the female sample. Although the hours worked are not signicantly affected.
    Keywords: Informal care; labor-market outcomes; sample selection
    JEL: J11 J22 C01
    Date: 2010–02
  11. By: Masatoshi Yamada (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: All the social insurance systems in Japan have faced number of difficulties in recent years mainly because, on the one hand both aging and number of children declining had accelerated and on the other hand Japan experienced stagnated economy after 1990. Among them the public pension system experienced the worst because a variety of problems such as incompleteness or losses of pension-subscriber records, lowering of reference salaries in the pension for the hired, usurpation of pension premiums had reported via mass-communications and the pension system decreased its reliability. This paper reexamines the problems concerning the public pension by considering what the pension system as an insurance sheds light to those problems. Though it is true that the pension is called often gpension insuranceh, its understanding as an insurance is very rare both in its design or construction and in its management in reality, and such an examination as above contributes the purpose. The paper examines first the working and features of the pension as an insurance. They are then utiilized to reconsider the problems concerning the pension system as above and examine what are the solutions to those problems and what is the good form of the pension system.
    Keywords: Public pension, pension insurance, designing and management
    JEL: H55
    Date: 2010–03
  12. By: Ray Barrell; Ian Hurst; Simon Kirby
    Abstract: The national debt stock of the UK is rising sharply as a result of the economic crisis, and equilibrium output is falling, with the capital stock contracting. Both problems could be alleviated by the rapid introduction (but slow implementation) of a policy to extend working lives. The paper analyses a delayed extension of working lives in the UK. A distinction is drawn between the impacts of these changes on output (GDP) and income (GNP) in open economies with capital mobility. Increasing working lives will in equilibrium raise consumption and tax revenues and reduce pension spending. These gains by the government can be used to improve services, cut taxes or pay off debts.
    Date: 2009–05
  13. By: Torsten Schmidt; Simeon Vosen
    Abstract: Despite similar levels of per capita income, education, and technology the development of labour shares in OECD countries has displayed diff erent patterns since 1960. The paper examines the role of demography in this regard. Employing an overlapping generations model we fi rst examine the mechanisms through which demographic change can aff ect labour shares. Model simulations show that demographic eff ects on the labour share are larger in open than in closed economies. Empirical estimates, conducted using panel cointegration techniques for a panel of 18 OECD countries, provide strong support for demographic eff ects on the labour share. In line with the simulation results, we also fi nd evidence that openness increases this impact.
    Keywords: Labour share; demographic change; panel cointegration
    JEL: E25 J10 D91 C23
    Date: 2010–02

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