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The Welfare State as Piggy BankInformation, Risk, Uncertainty, and the Role of the State$
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Nicholas Barr

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199246599.001.0001

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Misleading Guides to Pension Design

Misleading Guides to Pension Design

(p.96) Chapter 7 Misleading Guides to Pension Design
The Welfare State as Piggy Bank

Nicholas Barr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes core controversies about pensions by focusing on ten persistent myths about pension design that have clouded discussion, many of them centred on the debate about the respective merits of funded pensions (in which today's pensions are paid out of previously accumulated contributions) and Pay‐As‐You‐Go arrangements (in which today's pensions are paid out of today's contributions). Analysis of pensions needs to draw on microeconomics, macroeconomics, financial economics, and an understanding of the theory of social insurance. Many of the myths – relating to demographic change, savings, economic growth, public spending, and labour supply – are based on analysis that is incomplete because it omits one or more of these components.

Keywords:   demographic change, economic growth, funded pensions, labour supply, Pay‐As‐You‐Go pensions, pension design, public spending, savings

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