The Displacement Effects of Social Security Wealth in a Transition Economy: The Case of Poland
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Collegium of World Economy, SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Poland
Submission date: 2022-01-25
Final revision date: 2022-11-15
Acceptance date: 2023-01-04
Publication date: 2023-03-31
Corresponding author
Marcin Wroński   

Collegium of World Economy, SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Poland
GNPJE 2023;313(1):19-40
Economic theory does not give clear predictions on the impact of social security wealth on private wealth. While the basic life-cycle hypothesis predicts full displacement, many more advanced theoretical contributions anticipate only a limited offset. Empirical research on the issue is also not conclusive. In this paper, we measure the substitution between social security wealth and private wealth in Poland. To obtain measures of long-term substitution, we measure the displacement effects of social security wealth on net wealth. Our estimates of the effects on consumption and the saving rate reflect a short-term impact. Our results do not provide support for the hypothesis that social security wealth crowds out private savings in the long term. The short-term evidence is mixed, but the effects of social security wealth on consumption are at best weak, while the impact on saving rates is not statistically significant. In our view, in transition economies, the influence of social security wealth on private wealth is weaker than in developed economies because the wealth distribution has been to a large extent transformed by random and rapid events such as the privatisation of housing assets.
I gratefully acknowledge support by National Science Centre under contract UMO- 2019/35/N/HS4/01032.
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