Professor Axel Börsch-Supan

Professor Axel Börsch-Supan


Prof. Axel Börsch-Supan, Ph.D., born 1954, studied Economics and Mathematics in Munich and Bonn. He holds a Ph.D. degree from M.I.T. (Advisor: Daniel McFadden) and was Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the JFK-School of Government at Harvard University.

After two years as Professor of Economics at Dortmund University he became Professor of Macroeconomics and Economic Policy at the University of Mannheim in 1989. Since 2001 he is the founding and executive director of the Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA).

In January 2011, Börsch-Supan joined the Max Planck Society. Since July 2011, Börsch-Supan is the director of the Max Planck Institute which is dedicated to Social Law and Social Policy. Börsch-Supan added the “Munich Center for the Economic of Aging” (MEA) and thereby the field of social policy.

Börsch-Supan is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Adjunct Senior Researcher of the RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California, member of the Committee on Macroeconomic Effects of Aging of the National Academies of Science, and member of the MacArthur Foundation Aging Societies Network.

He is member (and was chair person) of the Council of Advisors to the German Economics Ministry, has co-chaired the German Pension Reform Commission, was member of the German President’s Commission on Demographic Change, and is member of the German Governments’s Commission on Demographic Change. He has served as a consultant to many governments, the OECD, the World Bank, the Bundesbank, the European Central Bank, among others.

Current research projects include pensions and retirement behavior, household savings behavior, macroeconomics of population aging and financial markets, and panel data and discrete choice econometrics.





How did you get involved in researching questions about ageing?

Already in 1982, when I started working on housing, saving and household formation: this can only explained in a life-course context, and this, alas, includes aging and the preparation for retirement.

What is the most exciting piece of research on ageing you have done?

Leading the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe: a international and interdisciplinary panel-study with now 150.000 interviews on health and socio-economic conditions in 20 countries, now in its 5th wave of data collection. 

What will you be talking on at BSG?

Population ageing is not a tsunami, and demography is not our destiny. Our destiny is to turn the challenges of population ageing into chances by making good use of the increased healthy life expectancy.   

What aspects of BSG are you most looking forward to?

Its interdisciplinarity.

Books and Key Publications

Selected Books

Börsch-Supan, A., 1987, Econometric Analysis of Discrete Choice. With Applications on the Demand for Housing in the United States and West Germany. Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems 296, Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo: Springer.

Börsch-Supan, A., und M. Miegel (Eds.), 2001, Pension Reform in Six Countries, Springer. Heidelberg, New York, Tokyo.

Börsch-Supan, A., Boeri, T., Brugiavini, A., Disney, R., Kapteyn, A, und F. Peracchi (Eds.), 2001, Pensions: More Information, Less Ideology, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston.

Börsch-Supan, A. 2003, Life-Cycle Savings and Public Policy, Academic Press, New York.

Börsch-Supan, A., Brandt, M., Hank, K. und M. Schröder (eds.), 2011, The Individual and the Welfare State: Life Histories in Europe. Springer, Heidelberg.

Börsch-Supan, A., Brandt, M., Litwin, H. and G. Weber (eds.), 2013, The Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations: First Results from SHARE after the Economic Crisis. De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston.

Selected Journal Articles

Börsch-Supan, A., 1986, Household Formation, Housing Prices, and Public Policy Impacts. Journal of Public Economics 25, 145-164.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1990, On the Compatibility of Nested Multinominal Logit Models with Utility Maximization. Journal of Econometrics 43, 373-388.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1990, Panel Data Analysis of Housing Choice. Regional Science and Urban Economics 20, 1-18.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1990, Productivity and U.S. Economic Growth, Journal of Economics, Vol. 51, Nr. 3, 318-321.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1991, Implications of an Aging Population: Problems and Policy Options in West Germany and the United States. Economic Policy 12, 103-139.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1991, Panel Data Analysis of the Beveridge Curve: Is there a Macroeconomic Relation Between the Rate of Unemployment and the Vacancy Rate? Economica 58, 279-297.

Börsch-Supan, A. und K. Stahl, 1991, Life Cycle Savings and Consumption Constraints. Journal of Population Economics 4, 233-255.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1992, Saving and Consumption Patterns of the Elderly. The German Case. Journal of Population Economics 5, 289-303.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1993, Smooth Unbiased Multivariate Probability Simulators for Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Limited Dependent Variable Models. Journal of Econometrics 58, 347-68.

Börsch-Supan, A. und R. Schnabel, 1998, Social Security and Declining Labor-Force Participation in Germany. American Economic Review 88, 173-178.

Börsch-Supan, A., 1999, Capital Productivity and the Nature of  Competition. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Microeconomics,205-244.

Börsch-Supan, A., 2000, Incentive Effects of Social Security on Labor Force Participation: Evidence in Germany and Across Europe.Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 78, 25-49.

Börsch-Supan, A. und A. Brugiavini, 2001, Savings:The Policy Debate in Europe, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 17 No.1, 116-143.

Börsch-Supan, A., Reil-Held, A., Rodepeter, R., Schnabel, R. und J. Winter, 2001, The German Savings Puzzle, Research in Economics, Vol. 55, Heft 1, 15-38.

Börsch-Supan, A., Boeri, T. und G. Tabellini, 2001, Would you like to shrink the Welfare State? A Survey of European Citizens, Economic Policy, Vol. 32, 7-50.

Börsch-Supan, A. und A. Reil-Held, 2001, How much is Transfer and how much Insurance in a Pay-As-You-Go System? The German Case, Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 130, No.3, 505-524.

Börsch-Supan, A. und J. Köke, 2002, An Applied Econometricians’ View of Empirical Corporate Governance Studies, German Economic Review, Vol. 3(3), August 2002, 295-326.

Börsch-Supan, A., Heiss, F. und A. Ludwig, 2003, Pension Reform, Capital Markets, and the Rate of Return, German Economic Review, Vol. 4, Issue 2, May 2003, 151-181.

Börsch-Supan, A., Boeri, T. und G. Tabellini, 2002, Pension Reforms and the Opinions of European Citizens, American Economic Review, Vol. 92, No. 2, 396-401.

Börsch-Supan, A., Euwals, R. und A. Eymann, 2004, Who Determines Household Savings for Old Age? Evidence from Dutch panel data, Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 25, Issue 2, 195-211.

Börsch-Supan, A., Köke, J. und J. Winter, 2005, Pension reform, savings behavior, and capital market performance, Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Vol. 4, No. 1, 87-107.

Börsch-Supan, A., 2005, From Traditional DB to Notional DC Systems: The Pension Reform Process in Sweden, Italy, and Germany, Journal of the European Economic Association, Vol. 3(2-3), 458-465.

Börsch-Supan, A., Ludwig, A. und J. Winter, 2006, Ageing, Pension Reform and Capital Flows: A Multi-Country Simulation Model, Economica, Vol. 73, No. 292, 625-658.

Börsch-Supan, A., Reil-Held, A. und D. Schunk, 2008, Saving incentives, old-age provision and displacement effects: Evidence from the recent German pension reform, Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Vol. 7, No. 3, 295-319.

Börsch-Supan, A. 2011, Reforming Pensions: Principles and Policy Choices, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 59, 3, 681-683.

Börsch-Supan, A., G. Heller and A. Reil-Held, 2011, Is Intergenerational Cohesion Falling Apart in Old Europe? Public Policy and Aging Report, 21, 4, 17-21.

Bloom, D. E., Börsch-Supan, A., McGee, P. and A. Seike, 2011, Population Ageing: Macro Challenges and Policy Responses. In: Beard, J. R., Biggs, S., Bloom, D.E., Fried, L. P., Hogan, P., Kalache, A., and S. J. Olshansky (eds.), Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise, Geneva: World Economic Forum, 35-38.

Olshansky, S. J., Beard, J. R. and A. Börsch-Supan, 2011, The Longevity Dividend: Health as an Investment. In: Beard, J. R., Biggs, S., Bloom, D.E., Fried, L. P., Hogan, P., Kalache, A., and S. J. Olshansky (eds.), Global Population Ageing: Peril or Promise, Geneva: World Economic Forum, 57-60.

Börsch-Supan, A., 2011, Health and disability insurance. Zeitschrift für Arbeitsmarktforschung, Vol. 44, No. 4, 349-362.

Börsch-Supan, A., 2012, Identifying effects of health and long-term care policies through cross-national analysis. European Journal of Ageing, Vol. 9, No. 1, 65–68.

Börsch-Supan, A., Brandt, M. and M. Schröder, 2013, SHARELIFE - One century of life histories in Europe. Advances in Life Course Research, 18:1, 1-5.

Olshansky, S. J., T. Antonucci, L. Berkman, R. Binstock, A. Börsch-Supan, J. Cacioppo, B. Carnes, L.L. Carstensen, L.P. Fried, D.P. Goldman, J. Jackson, M. Kohli, J. Rother, Y. Zheng and J.W. Rowe, 2013, Differences In Life Expectancy Due To Race And Educational Differences Are Widening, And Many May Not Catch Up Health Affairs, 31:8, 1803-13.