nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2014‒11‒22
eight papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Demanding occupations and the retirement age in the Netherlands By Niels Vermeer; Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB; VU; Netspar); Arthur van Soest (Tilburg University; Netspar)
  2. Design Errors in Public Pension Systems: The Case of Hungary By András Simonovits
  3. Target Benefit Plans: Improving Access for Federally Regulated Employees By Randy Bauslaugh
  4. A Life-Cycel Model with Ambiguous Survival Beliefs By Max Groneck; Alexander Ludwig
  5. Assessing the role of ageing, feminising and better-educated workforces on TFP growth By Andrea Ariu; Vincent Vandenberghe
  6. Cambios recientes en las principales causas de mortalidad en Colombia By Karina Acosta; Julio Romero P.
  7. Stabilising expenditure rule in Poland – stochastic simulations for 2014-2040 By Korniluk, Dominik
  8. Endogenous Growth and Demographic Transition in a model of Cultural Transmission By Zakharenko, Roman

  1. By: Niels Vermeer; Mauro Mastrogiacomo (DNB; VU; Netspar); Arthur van Soest (Tilburg University; Netspar)
    Abstract: In the policy debate on increasing the statutory retirement age, the issue has been raised to make an exception for workers with demanding occupations, since health considerations may make it unreasonable to expect them to work longer. We use unique Dutch survey data to analyze the general public’s opinions on what are demanding occupations, to what extent it is justified that someone with a demanding occupation can retire earlier, and on the willingness to contribute to an earlier retirement scheme for such occupations through higher taxes. A representative sample of Dutch adults answered several questions about hypothetical persons with five different jobs. Panel data models are used to analyze the answers, accounting for confounding factors affecting the evaluations of the demanding nature of the jobs as well as their reasonable retirement age or willingness to contribute to an early retirement scheme. The Dutch public thinks that workers in demanding occupations should be able to retire earlier. A one standard deviation increase in the perceived demanding nature of an occupation translates into a one year decrease in the reasonable retirement age and a 30 to 40 percentage points increase in the willingness to contribute to an early retirement scheme for that occupation. There is some evidence that respondents whose own job is similar to the occupation they evaluate find this occupation more demanding than other respondents but respondents are also willing to contribute to early retirement of occupations that are not similar to their own.
    JEL: J26 J81 H55
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: András Simonovits (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences also Department of Economics, Central European University and Mathematical Institute, Budapest University of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper discusses design errors in public pension systems, using Hungary as an illus-tration. When the communist political and economic system was replaced by democracy and market economy, the subsequent governments had even greater difficulties in de-signing consistent pension reforms than before. Double-digit inflation and deep decline in real wages called for indexation and valorisation of pensions. In addition to arbitrary pub¬lic policy, poorly designed rules even amplified the errors of the public pension system, creating notch cohorts and disadvantaged strata.
    Keywords: public pension system, social security, Hungary, design errors
    JEL: H1 H8
    Date: 2014–06
  3. By: Randy Bauslaugh
    Abstract: Despite having been available for decades, target benefit pension plans (TBPs) will continue to be resisted by federally regulated employers unless a legal flaw is fixed, according to a report from the C.D. Howe Institute. In “Target Benefit Plans: Improving Access for Federally Regulated Employees,” author Randy Bauslaugh finds that TBPs are rarely adopted by federally regulated private-sector employers because federal pension law casts doubt over the ability of employers to limit their financial exposure, a key attribute of TBPs for employers.
    Keywords: Governance and Public Institutions, Pension Papers
    JEL: J32
    Date: 2014–10
  4. By: Max Groneck (CMR, University of Cologne; Netspar; Albertus-Magnus-Platz; 50923 Köln; Germany); Alexander Ludwig (SAFE, Goethe University Frankfurt; MEA; Netspar; House of Finance; Grüneburgplatz 1; 60323 Frankfurt am Main; Germany; Department of Economics; University of Pretoria; Private Bag X20; Hatfield 0028; South Africa)
    Abstract: On average, ``young" people underestimate whereas ``old" people overestimate their chances to survive into the future. We adopt a Bayesian learning model of ambiguous survival beliefs which replicates these patterns. The model is em- bedded within a non-expected utility model of life-cycle consumption and saving. Our analysis shows that agents with ambiguous survival beliefs (i) save less than originally planned, (ii) exhibit undersaving at younger ages, and (iii) hold larger amounts of assets in old age than their rational expectations counterparts who correctly assess their survival probabilities. Our ambiguity-driven model therefore simultaneously accounts for three important empirical findings on household saving behavior.
    Keywords: Cumulative prospect theory; Choquet expected utility; Dynamic inconsistency; Life-cycle hypothesis; Saving puzzles
    JEL: D91 D83 E21
    Date: 2014–10
  5. By: Andrea Ariu (McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, USA and FNRS & IRES, UClouvain, Belgium); Vincent Vandenberghe (Economics Department, IRES, Economics School of Louvain (ESL), Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), 3 place Montesquieu, B-1348 Belgium)
    Abstract: This paper uses Belgian firm-level data, covering the 1998-2006 period, to assess the impact on TFP growth of key labour force structural changes: ageing, feminisation and rise of educational attainment. Based on a Hellerstein-Neumark analytical framework, our work shows that an ageing workforce negatively affects TFP growth, whereas its feminisation and its tendency to be better-educated do not have any independent positive or negative impact. Therefore, the TFP slowdown induced by the ageing process is neither gender biased nor counterbalanced by the rising educational attainment of the workforce. These findings are robust to many additional treatments applied to the data, and controlling for the different sources of endogeneity. Quantitatively, ageing workforces account for a -4.5 percentage points loss in terms of cumulative TFP growth over the 1991-2013 period; and the projections suggest that this number could reach -7 percentage points by the mid-2020s. This pattern is not so much dictated by Belgium’s demography, but rather its commitment to attain an overall employment rate of 75% by 2020. The latter almost inevitably implies almost doubling the current employment rate of individuals aged 55-64.
    Keywords: TFP growth, Ageing, Feminisation, Rising Educational Attainment, Firm-Level Analysis
    Date: 2014–10
  6. By: Karina Acosta; Julio Romero P.
    Abstract: Este documento estima la reducción de la esperanza de vida al nacer y la pérdida de años de vida productivos, debido a las principales causas de muertes en Colombia. Asimismo, se calculó la probabilidad de muerte por causas y cuando se alcanzan ciertos grupos de edad. Estos ejercicios fueron basados en tablas de vida con múltiples causas de salida y utilizando escenarios hipotéticos de eliminación de causas de muertes. Se encontró que entre 1990 y 2012 se han experimentado notables cambios en el perfil epidemiológico, así como el aumento de la esperanza de vida, esta presenta un rezago de veinte años en comparación con países más desarrollados. En los últimos años, las enfermedades del sistema circulatorio se han convertido en el mayor factor explicativo de la reducción de la esperanza de vida al nacer. En los hombres, cobra importancia los homicidios y otras causas externas, las cuales son el principal factor de riesgo de muerte en las edades más productivas.*****ABSTRACT: In this document we estimate the reduction of the life expectancy at birth and the productive years of potential life lost due to the leading causes of death in Colombia. Likewise, we calculate the probability of death by causes and age groups. We apply two methods, multiple decrement life tables and cause deleted life tables. The results exhibit conspicuous changes in epidemiological pattern. Nevertheless, Colombia lags behind developed countries in life expectancy rate. Over the last few years, circulatory system diseases have become the major factor explaining the reduction of life expectancy at birth. In the case of males, homicides and other external causes are the main risk factors during their most productive years.
    Keywords: demografía formal, proceso de múltiples causas de salida, eliminación de causas por tablas de vida, esperanza de vida, Colombia.
    JEL: I10 J10 J11
    Date: 2014–10–08
  7. By: Korniluk, Dominik (Ministry of Finance in Poland)
    Abstract: The stabilising expenditure rule (SER) imposed on general government (GG) sector in Poland has been binding since 2014. According to this rule, about 90% of GG expenditure will grow in line with the real medium-term GDP, or slower if there is excessive debt or deficit, or balance does not meet the medium-term objective. It was shown in this paper how the SER affects the most important public finance indicators in the period 2014-2040. The consequences of the lowered debt thresholds in the SER's correction mechanism due to the pension reform were also presented. Finally, future fiscal policy conducted under the new rule was simulated and assessed.
    Keywords: stabilising expenditure rule; stochastic simulations; debt thresholds; fiscal policy cyclica lity
    JEL: C53 E62
    Date: 2014–09–01
  8. By: Zakharenko, Roman
    Abstract: Demographic transition theory is developed highlighting cultural transmission pattern as key driver. Individuals maximize cultural fitness, i.e. rate of own cultural type absorbtion by future generations. With low population density, one's culture can be picked up only by own children, thus cultural fitness equals genetic fitness, individuals allocate all energy surplus to reproduction, and Malthusian regime occurs. With rising population density, cultural transmission between non-relatives accelerates; knowledge production by an individual makes her culture more attractive. Individuals reallocate some of energy surplus from reproduction to knowledge production, causing technological growth. The model fits observed demographic transition patterns.
    Keywords: Endogenous growth, Cultural transmission, Demographic transition
    JEL: J11 O44 Z19
    Date: 2014

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