nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
six papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Assessing the short-term impact of pension reforms on older workers' participation rates in the EU: a diff-in-diff approach By Alfonso Arpaia; Kamil Dybczak; Fabiana Pierini
  2. Adequacy of Saving for Old Age in Europe By Elsa Fornero; Annamaria Lusardi; Chiara Monticone
  3. Aging and Immigration Policy in a Representative Democracy By Lena Calahorrano
  4. Education and Labor Market Activity of Women: An Age-Group Specific Empirical Analysis By Claudia Münch; Sweder van Wijnbergen
  5. Vacillations around a Pension Reform Trajectory: time for a change? By Platon Tinios
  6. Risk-based classification of financial instruments in the Finnish statutory pension scheme TyEL By Tanskanen , Antti J; Niininen , Petri; Vatanen, Kari

  1. By: Alfonso Arpaia; Kamil Dybczak; Fabiana Pierini
    Abstract: After presenting an extensive overview of the reforms undertaken in the EU between 1990 and 2006, The paper assess with a diff-in-diff technique the short-term effects of pension reforms on the participation rates of individuals aged between 50 and 64 years. The analysis suggests that in the short-term pension reforms have different effects on the participation rate of men and women. First, reforms tightening the access to early retirement have a positive effect on female participation, but reduce somewhat male participation rates. Second, the results for non-fundamental reforms are more uncertain. Third, reforms that change the way of financing pensions or the eligibility conditions (what we dubbed fundamental reforms), usually with long phasing-in periods, may have unintended short-run effects on the female participation rate. Thus, our findings point at the importance of designing pension reforms and strategies to reform social security that reduce the risks of undesired effects on the decision to remain in the labour market. Workers' information about pension rules and uncertainties about long transition periods may influence in the short-term the retirement decision in a way which is not consistent with the intended effects of the reform
    Keywords: Diff-in-Diff, pension reforms, participation rates, Arpaia, Dybczak, Pierini
    Date: 2009–09
  2. By: Elsa Fornero (University of Turin and CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin); Annamaria Lusardi (Dartmouth College); Chiara Monticone (CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto, Turin)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the ESF Forward Look project “Ageing, Health and Pensions in Europe” by providing an overview of policy questions and research literature on the adequacy of saving for old age in European countries. Given the current status and practices, the paper describes remaining knowledge gaps and the requirements in terms of research infrastructures, data, and methodologies to fill such gaps.
    Date: 2009–07
  3. By: Lena Calahorrano (RWTH Aachen University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes how population aging affects immigration policy in rich industrialized countries. It sets up a two-period model of a representative democracy with two overlapping generations. The government’s preferred immigration rate increases with the share of retirees in the population. The paper differentiates between an economy without a pension system and one with pay-as-you-go pensions. As immigrants have more children than natives, the chosen immigration rate is contingent on the design of the pension system. If pension contributions and benefits are set freely by the government, equilibrium immigration is lower than it is in the absence of a pension system. On the contrary, it is higher if the pension level is fixed ex ante to a relatively generous level, since native workers then benefit from sharing the burden of pension contributions with the immigrants.
    Keywords: Demographic Change, Political Economy, Immigration Policy
    JEL: J1 D78 F22
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Claudia Münch (University of Amsterdam); Sweder van Wijnbergen (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We analyze the determinants of female labor market participation for different age-groups in the European Union. We show that female participation is positively affected by tertiary education at any age. But upper secondary education increases participation only up to an age of 40 while after that it has no effect or even a negative impact The results are tested for robustness and controlled for endogeneity. The results show that increasing educational attainment levels in the female population will contribute significantly to higher aggregate participation rates. However,in simulations up to 2050 such benefits are partially offset by a negative aging effect.
    Keywords: female labour market participation; fertility; educational achievements; aging
    JEL: J22 J1
    Date: 2009–11–12
  5. By: Platon Tinios
    Abstract: Discussion of pensions in Greece displays a paradox: reform is universally acknowledged to be important, urgent and mature, yet the political class avoid and postpone all discussion. This results in a syncopated reform path. A historical overview indicates that reforms are best understood as interrupted and unsuccessful attempts to complete the original blueprint for the pension system which was formulated in the 1930s. These define a reform trajectory around which there exist centrifugal forces pulling away (cross-subsidies), and homeostatic mechanisms bringing back on track (public finance). Thus, the original 1930s design is implicitly accepted as a maximal aim of reform, while the question of its appropriateness is never raised. This analysis explains reform failures by problems in the content and preparation of reforms, rather than on the strength of opposition (which, in any case, was highly predictable). A fresh start, provided there is adequate preparation, is a possible way out of the impasse.
    Keywords: Greece; History of the welfare state; Social Security; Pension reforms.
    Date: 2010–04
  6. By: Tanskanen , Antti J (Varma Mutual Pension Insurance); Niininen , Petri (Varma Mutual Pension Insurance); Vatanen, Kari (Varma Mutual Pension Insurance)
    Abstract: Sufficient solvency of a pension insurance company responsible for defined-benefit pensions guarantees that the pensions are paid regardless of turbulence in the financial market. In the Finnish occupational pension system TyEL, the required level of solvency capital (solvency limit) and its computation are specified in the statutes. Before the solvency limit can be determined, financial instruments must be classified into the five statutory asset classes based on risk. The solvency limit is computed on the basis of this classification and the average return, volatility and correlation parameters defined in the statutes. The solvency limit framework is formulated in the spirit of Markowitz portfolio theory and implicitly assumes that returns follow Gaussian distributions. This, however, is not actually the case with many – if not most – financial instruments. Similarly, it is not obvious how to handle illiquid assets, those with short time series, and which collection of financial instruments can be combined into a single asset (portfoliocation) for the purpose of classification. In this study, we propose two methods of handling these issues: (1) a decision tree-based method; and (2) a Bayesian method. We show how fat tails of return distributions are taken into account in the classification process, and how qualitative assessment of risks is combined with quantitative classification of financial assets. Coupled with suitable data transformations, both proposed methods provide efficient and suitable bases for asset classification in the TyEL pension scheme.
    Keywords: Bayesian methods; classification; solvency; non-Gaussian return distributions; TyEL occupational pension scheme
    JEL: C11 G22 G23 G28 G32
    Date: 2010–04–28

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