Konjunktur und Rentenversicherung - gegenseitige Abhängigkeiten und mögliche Veränderungen durch diskretionäre Maßnahmen
Volker Meinhardt (),
Katja Rietzler () and
Rudolf Zwiener ()
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Rudolf Zwiener: Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) at Hans Boeckler Foundation, Duesseldorf
No 03-2009, IMK Studies from IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute
The study provides an empirical analysis of the effects of cyclical fluctuations - including those of the current economic crisis - on revenues and expenditures of the German public pay-as-you-go pension system on the one hand. On the other hand the pension reforms of the most recent decade are scrutinised in terms of their repercussions on the business cycle. Special emphasis is placed on the gradual reduction of the public pension level and the subsidisation of private fully funded so-called "Riester" pension schemes. For the analysis the authors develop an econometric model of the public pension system and integrate it into the IMK's existing macro model of the German economy. The analysis shows several weaknesses of the current public pension formula. Firstly, it should not include the effects of short-time working on the aggregate of gross wages and salaries per employee. Otherwise the current extensive use of short-time working to avoid unemployment will first reduce pensions and then raise them again. Secondly, the time lag between cyclical changes and their repercussions on the expenditures of the pension system could be further increased to improve the stabilising effects of the pension system on the business cycle. And thirdly, the pension system's provisions for revenue fluctuations should be raised in order to avoid increasing contributions in a severe and protracted crisis. A separate section of the study deals with the cyclical effects of private households' increased savings for old age. To a significant extent the increase of the savings ratio since the beginning of this decade is due to the "Riester" reforms and has retarded growth and employment.
Pages: 91 pages
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