Does an Aging Population Increase Inequality?


Weizsäcker, Robert K. von


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/1058
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-10588
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 1995
The title of a journal, publication series: Discussion Papers / Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik ; Department of Economics, Universität Mannheim
Volume: 535
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik > Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: D31 H55 J18 ,
Subject headings (SWD): Bevölkerungsentwicklung , Alterung , Ungleichheit
Abstract: The paper reviews recent research on the impact of an aging population on the distribution of income. After briefly discussing the demographic conditions responsible for population aging, a short account is given of demographic trends in the industrialized world. In order to disentangle the many potential channels by which an aging society affects the dispersion of income, several levels of aggregation are distinguished. The paper differentiates between intra- and intergenerational issues, between direct and indirect demographic inequality effects, and between the distribution of current and lifetime income. It emphasizes the critical role of age-related redistributive tax-transfer systems, like public pension schemes and health care systems. Sources of distributional policy conflicts are identified at both the cross-section level and the lifetime level of income inequality. The institutional design of intergenerational burden sharing, individual disincentive reactions, shifts in age-income profiles related to cohort size, and politicoeconomic repercussions are shown to drive the relation between population aging and income distribution in distinct and partially opposite ways.
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Weizsäcker, Robert K. von (1995) Does an Aging Population Increase Inequality? Open Access Discussion Papers / Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik ; Department of Economics, Universität Mannheim Mannheim 535 [Working paper]
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