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International trade with pensions and demographic shocks



The central question of this paper is how international trade and specialization are affected by different designs of pension schemes and asymmetric demographic changes. In a model with two goods, two countries and two production factors, we find that countries with a relatively large unfunded pension scheme will specialize in the production of labour intensive goods. If these countries are hit by a negative demographic shock, this specialization will intensify in the long run. Eventually, these countries may even completely specialize in the production of those goods. The effects spill over to other countries, which will move away from complete specialization in capital intensive goods as the relative size of their labour intensive goods sector will also increase.



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We thank the participants of the Tilburg-Nagoya workshop on Population Economics and two anonymous referees for their useful comments.



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