Pensions reforms, redistribution and welfare

Thakoor (Vimal), Jeevendranath (2010). Pensions reforms, redistribution and welfare. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This thesis deals with the optimal design of pensions systems in the face of demographic changes. Though the chapters differ in terms of the key questions addressed, the unifying theme remains which pensions system yields the highest welfare under differing economic conditions. We use a standard overlapping generations model with heterogeneous agents to address the various questions. The role of the pensions system varies between consumption smoothing and redistribution, or a combination of both. The provision of pensions, whether universal or targeted, has a signficant impact on capital formation and by extension on a host of economic aggregates and welfare. Capital is always higher under a fully-funded scheme. Under certain conditions, it is optimal to have no pay-as-you-go pensions in place and a fully-funded scheme is thus optimal. With a redistributive pensions system, the welfare gain of the poor exceeds the fall in the welfare of the rich thereby resulting in an increase in aggregate welfare. This thesis thus brings together the issues involved in pensions design in a theoretical framework and aims to provide an insight into the various channels at work.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School, Department of Economics
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HG Finance


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