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2024/2025  KAN-CCMVV1915U  Pension Economics

English Title
Pension Economics

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 150
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Katja Mann - Department of Economics (ECON)
  • Svend Erik Hougaard Jensen - Department of Economics (ECON)
Main academic disciplines
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 07-02-2024

Relevant links

Learning objectives
After completing this course, the student should be able to
  • Identify within an overlapping-generations model how different pension schemes affect individual saving decisions over the life-cycle
  • Compare the welfare and distributional implications of different pension systems and analyze the welfare effect of pension reforms
  • Understand the economics of population ageing and identify the main mechanisms through which the pension system is challenged by demographic changes
  • Demonstrate a solid understanding of the structure of pension systems from a practical perspective, such as types of pension schemes, the role of pension funds, regulation of the pension sector, etc.
  • Analyze the relationship between the pension system and households’ economic and financial decisions based on Danish and international evidence
  • Evaluate how pension systems affect the structure of the financial system
Course prerequisites
Basic knowledge (BA-level) of microeconomics, macroeconomics and finance
Pension Economics:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Aids Limited aids, see the list below:
The student is allowed to bring
  • An approved calculator. Only the models HP10bll+ or Texas BA ll Plus are allowed (both models are non-programmable, financial calculators).
  • Language dictionaries in paper format
The student will have access to
  • Advanced IT application package
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination may warrant that it most appropriately be held as an oral examination. The programme office will inform the students if the make-up examination/re-take examination instead is held as an oral examination including a second examiner or external examiner.
*The number of registered candidates for the re-take exam warrants if the exam, most appropriately, is to be held as an oral examination. The students will be informed if the re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The course offers a broad account of the role of pension systems and policies for individual economic decisions as well as for macroeconomic outcomes including distributional implications.

The first part will introduce the modelling framework – overlapping generations models – for analyzing life-cycle decisions on consumption, savings and retirement. Different types of pension systems will be introduced to the model and the students will analyze the microeconomic and macroeconomic implications as well as welfare consequences of pension policies.

The second part will study pension systems from a practical perspective.

Students will get familiar with the institutional set-up of the Danish pension system, understand how it has evolved over recent decades and how it relates to pension systems in other countries on the Western hemisphere. They will study different types of pension schemes and the management of pension schemes seen from the perspective of pension funds. This part will also give an account of the empirical literature estimating and testing the theoretical implications of various pension schemes and changes in pension policies.





Description of the teaching methods
Feedback during the teaching period
We aim to give constant feedback to students in the form of Q and A in the classroom. We encourage students to ask questions and participate in class discussion. The feedback is also provided during office hours.
Student workload
Classes 33 hours
Preparation / exam 173 hours
Expected literature

de la Croix, D. and Michel, P. (2002), A Theory of Economic Growth. Dynamics and Policy in Overlapping Generations. Cambridge University Press. Chapters 1 and 3


Heijdra, B. (2009), Foundations of Modern Macroeconomics, Second Edition, Oxford University Press. Chapter 17


Andersen, T.M., Bhattacharya, J., Grodecka-Messi, A and Mann, K. (2022), Pension Reform and Wealth Inequality: Theory and Evidence, CEPR Working Paper DP 17078


Andersen, T.M., Jensen, S. H., and Rangvid J. (2022). ‘The Danish Pension System - Design, Performance, and Challenges’, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK


Scharfstein, D. (2018), Pensions policy and the financial system, Journal of Finance, Vol. 73, Issue 4, pp. 1463-1512.


Additional material to be announced at the start of the course.

Last updated on 07-02-2024