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Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre - Department of Economics
Economics Working Papers

Economics Working Papers: Abstract 2008-18




Giacomo Corneo, Matthias Keese, Carsten Schröder




Can governments boost voluntary retirement savings via tax incentives and subsidies? A German case study for low-income households
Abstract Since 2002 the German government has promoted private retirement saving plans by means of special subsidies and tax incentives (Riester scheme). This policy mainly targets low-income households. Using data from the German Socio-economic Panel, we scrutinize the impact of the Riester scheme on private savings. Our empirical strategy consists of treating the introduction of the Riester scheme as a natural experiment. The estimation results cast some doubts on the effectiveness of the Riester scheme in raising private savings and call for enhanced systematic efforts to evaluate that policy.

Keywords: retirement saving, Riester scheme, tax incentives, subsidy incentives, pensions, treatment analysis

JEL classification: D12, D14, H24, H31, I38




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