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The reform introduced in Poland in 2009 substantially and abruptly reduced the number of workers eligible for early retirement. This paper evaluates the causal effects of this reform on labor force participation and exit to retirement. We use rich rotating panel from the Polish Labor Force Survey and exploit the discontinuity imposed by this reform. We find a statistically significant, but economically small discontinuity at the timing of the reform. The placebo test shows no similar effects in earlier or later quarters, but in a vast majority of specifications the discontinuity is not larger for the treated individuals, i.e. those whose occupation lost eligibility. We interpret these results as follows: the changes in the eligibility criteria were not instrumental in fostering the participation rates among the affected cohort, i.e. the immediate contribution to increased labor force participation of these cohorts is not economically large.
Forthcoming in: International Journal of Manpower
We analyze the political stability social security reforms which introduce a funded pillar (a.k.a. privatizations). We consider an economy populated by overlapping generations and intra-cohort heterogeneity, which introduces a funded pillar. This reform is efficient in Kaldor-Hicks sense and has political support. Subsequently, agents vote on abolishing the funded system, capturing the accumulated pension wealth, and replacing it with the pay-as-you-go scheme, i.e. “unprivatizing” the pension system. We show that even if such reform reduces welfare in the long run, the distribution of benefits across cohorts along the transition path implies that “unprivatizing” social security is always politically favored. We conclude that property rights definition over retirement savings may be of crucial importance for determining the stability of retirement systems with a funded pillar.
This paper was originally started as a part of MODELLING project, but with the time, it evolved into a heterogeneous agents framework with ex ante heterogeneity in terms of endowments and preferences.
Pension system reforms imply substantial redistribution between cohorts and within cohorts. They also implicitly affect the scope of risk sharing in societies. Linking pensions to individual incomes increases efficiency but reduces the insurance motive implicit in Beveridgean systems. The existing view in the literature argues that the insurance motive dominates the efficiency gains when evaluating the welfare effects. We show that this result is not universal: there exist ways to increase efficiency or compensate the loss of insurance, assuring welfare gains from pension system reform even in economies with uninsurable idiosyncratic income shocks. The fiscal closure, which necessarily accompanies the changes in the pension system, may boost efficiency and/or make up for lower insurance in the pension system. Indeed, fiscal closures inherently interact with the effects of pension system reform, counteracting or reinforcing the original effects. By analyzing a variety of fiscal closures, we reconcile our result with the earlier literature. We also study the political economy context and show that political support is feasible depending on the fiscal closure.