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The rising longevity gap by lifetime earnings: Distributional implications for the pension system

Peter Haan, Daniel Kemptner () and Holger Lüthen

No 2017/28, Discussion Papers from Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics

Abstract: This study uses German social security records to provide novel evidence about the heterogeneity in life expectancy by lifetime earnings and, additionally, documents the distributional implications of this earnings-related heterogeneity. We find a strong association between lifetime earnings and life expectancy at age 65 and show that the longevity gap is increasing across cohorts. For West German men born 1926-28, the longevity gap between top and bottom decile amounts to about 4 years (about 30%). This gap increases to 7 years (almost 50%) for cohorts 1947-49. We extend our analysis to the household context and show that lifetime earnings are also related to the life expectancy of the spouse. The heterogeneity in life expectancy has sizable and relevant distributional consequences for the pension system: when accounting for heterogeneous life expectancy, we find that the German pension system is regressive despite a strong contributory link. We show that the internal rate of return of the pension system increases with lifetime earnings. Finally, we document an increase of the regressive structure across cohorts, which is consistent with the increasing longevity gap.

Keywords: mortality; lifetime inequality; pensions; redistribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H55 I14 J11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-dem and nep-hea
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/170687/1/1002348943.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: The rising longevity gap by lifetime earnings – Distributional implications for the pension system (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: The Rising Longevity Gap by Lifetime Earnings: Distributional Implications for the Pension System (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: The Rising Longevity Gap by Lifetime Earnings: Distributional Implications for the Pension System (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201728

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