Monday 23 January 2017

Kiwisaver and net wealth - again

David Law and Grant Scobie continue to look at Kiwisaver's effects on net wealth. In line with prior work by Scobie and coauthors, they find that it didn't do anything to increase net wealth. Instead, it just diverts other savings.
The objective of this paper is to analyse the extent to which membership of KiwiSaver has been associated with greater accumulations of net wealth. The paper utilises two linked sources of data which cover the period 2002–2010: Statistics New Zealand’s Survey of Family, Income and Employment and Inland Revenue Department administrative data on KiwiSaver membership. Two approaches are employed: difference-indifferences (where the outcomes of interest are changes in net wealth) and various panel regression techniques. Results appear consistent with earlier evaluations of KiwiSaver. Neither approach suggests KiwiSaver membership has been associated with any positive effect on net wealth accumulation.
I'd commented here on the 2014 Treasury working paper version of the paper, now published in NZ Economic Papers. Whatever problem Kiwisaver is meant to be solving, it doesn't seem to be doing much.


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