Project in detail

Is the demographic change the doom of retirees’ old age savings?

Members of this project:



The memory of the recent bear market still in investors’ heads they are caught by another alarming headline. The so called “asset meltdown” hypothesis postulates that the retiring of the baby-boomers around 2020/2030 will cause them to sell their assets to fund consumption in retirement. The reduced demand for financial assets will then cause a sharp downturn in asset prices and thereby melt away financial assets. Are we hence facing a lasting bear market? The recent study by Prof. Axel Börsch-Supan, Alexander Ludwig and Mathias Sommer presents comforting results. “The effects of population aging on the overall capital stock are noticeable, but their magnitude does not fit the dramatic headline of an “asset meltdown”.” Pure demographics will cause the return on capital to shrink by roughly 100 base points. To order the study which was conducted for the DIA (German institute for old age provision) click here. (in German!)

MEA Discussion Papers arisen from this project:

Publications arisen from this project:
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel (2004): Aus der Not eine Tugend - Zukunftsperspektiven einer alternden Gesellschaft, Herbert-Quandt-Stifung, Gesellschaft ohne Zukunft?, 81-91
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel (2003): Alt werden in einer offenen Welt - In der Bedrängnis durch den demographischen Wandel schlägt die Stunde der Globalisierung, Geiger, Helmut, Die Würde des alten Menschen ist unantastbar, Bad Boll, 51-59
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel; Heiß, Florian; Ludwig, Alexander; Winter, Joachim (2003): Pension Reform, Capital Markets, and the Rate of Return, German Economic Review, 4, 2, 151-181
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel; Ludwig, Alexander; Sommer, Mathias (2003): Demographie und Kapitalmärkte - Die Auswirkungen der Bevölkerungsalterung auf Aktien-, Renten- und Immobilienvermögen, Deutsches Institut für Altersvorsorge, Köln, 102 Seiten
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel (2003): Gesamtwirtschaftliche Folgen des demographischen Wandels, IAW-Report 2003/1, 31, 1-26
  • Ludwig, Alexander; Winter, Joachim; Börsch-Supan, Axel (2003): Aging, pension reform, and capital flows: A multi-country simulation model, MEA Discussion Paper 028-03
  • Börsch-Supan, Axel (2001): Global Aging an der Jahrtausendwende: Die demographischen Herausforderungen des 21. Jahrhunderts, Mannheimer Zukunftstage, Mannheim, S. 96-116

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