Aging in Germany and the United States: International Comparisons
NBER Working Paper No. 4530
This paper reports on a set of international comparisons of how the German and the U.S. economies are affected by population aging. The paper's main focus is on the influence of institutional arrangements such as government regulations and subsidies on retirement, savings and housing choices in the two countries. Germany faces a particularly pronounced aging process. Her dependency ratio is already now as large as it will be in the year 2015 in the U.S., and it is predicted to exceed 43 percent at its peak in 2030. In this respect, changes that are occurring in Germany now may be regarded as indicative for changes to come in the United States. Retirement, savings and housing behavior differ quite markedly between Germany and the United States, and I will show that most of these differences are consistent with the incentives applicable to each country.