Annuity markets and capital accumulation
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DepartmentTowson University. Department of Economics
Citation of Original PublicationShantanu Bagchi & James Feigenbaum, 2018. "Annuity Markets and Capital Accumulation," Working Papers 2018-02, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2018.
We examine how the absence of annuities in financial markets affects capital accumulation in a two-period overlapping generations model. Our findings indicate that the effect on capital is ambiguous in general equilibrium, because there are two competing mechanisms at work. On the one hand, the absence of annuities increases the price of old-age consumption relative to the price of early-life consumption. This induces a substitution effect that reduces saving and capital, and an income effect that has the opposite effect as households want to consume less when young, causing them to save more. On the other hand, accidental bequests originate from the assets of the deceased under missing annuity markets. The bequest received in early life always has a positive income effect on saving, but the bequest received in old age, conditional on survival, is effectively a partial annuity with both substitution and income effects. We find that when the desire to smooth consumption is high, the income effects dominate, so the capital stock always increases when annuity markets are missing. However, when the desire to smooth consumption is low, the substitution effects dominate, and the capital stock decreases with missing annuity markets.