1) Life tables: sources, use, interpretations, variants.
2) Demographic forecast: scenarios, techniques, interpretation.
3) Pension systems: how they were introduced, when and why. Funded systems vs. pay-as-you-go (PAYG): typology, characteristics and the effect of economic and demographic (unforeseen) change.
4) The "ideal" PAYG pension system: definition and criteria for its design and implementation.
1 and 2) Any demographic textbook.
3a) Barr, N. 2002. Reforming pensions: Myths, truths, and policy choices. International Social
Security Review 55(2): 3–36. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/286/
3b) Kohli, M. and C. Arza 2011. The political economy of pension reform in Europe. In Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, 7th Edition, ed. R.H. Binstock and L.K. George. Amsterdam: Academic Press.
4) De Santis Gustavo (2015) "More with Less: the Almost Ideal Pension Systems (AIPSs)", Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2014 (Vol. 12): Health, Education, and Retirement over the Prolonged Life Cycle, Uwe SUNDE, Alexia FÜRNKRANZ-PRSKAWETZ and Michael KUHN (Eds.), pp. 169–192. Available at: http://hw.oeaw.ac.at/?arp=0x00329fd3
a) understand how populations evolve: complexity, implications and time scale;
b) understand pensions systems: their introduction and their evolution over time. Explicit and implicit objectives of pension systems and possible inconsistencies between them. The effect of unforeseen changes in the economic and the demographic sphere. Efficiency and (intra- and intergenerational) equity.
c) How to set up an "ideal" pension system, i.e., relatively immune from policy, demographic and economic risks.
Basic knowledge of demography: sources and methods.
Lectures, pratical applications on PC in lab.
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Type of Assessment
Written examination only, with open questions, on both theoretical issues and practical problems. Same for all students, including those who did not attend classes. Variations are possible (and in this case students will be timely informed), but the standard practice is as follows: the examination is divided in two parts, The first weighs 2/3 on the final grade: 14 questions must be answered in 90 minutes; each correct answer gives 2.5 grades (max=35 grades overall). No books or external text can be consulted (except those given at the moment of the examination); (own) calculators may be used. In the second part (weighing 1/3 on the final grade) student must show their ability in constructing demographic projections which, coupled with economic assumptions, may (or may not) affect the functioning of one or more pension systems supposedly in operation.
1.a) Life tables: historical origins. From death risks to the complete life table. The evolution of life tables over time. Sources.
1.b) Demographic projections, with and without migration. The component method. Constant and varying rates. Weak and strong ergodicity
1.c) Pensions systems and their historical, demographic, economic and cultural basis. Main and ancillary objectives of modern pension systems.
2.a) Various types of (PAYG) pension systems : defined benefit, defined contribution, risk sharing, NDC (notional defined contribution)
2.b) The "ideal" pension system: theoretical definition and practical issues to solve in setting it up.