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Reforming Pensions in Europe: Economic Fundamentals and Political Factors

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Abstract

This paper analyzes pension reforms in Europe and their determinants. The author introduces an alternative measure of pension reforms by comparing long-term forecasts of pension expenditures for seventeen European countries. The larger the decrease in expected spending on public pensions in 2050 between two base years, the more successful an pension reform the country achieved (after controlling for other factors, such as demography). The author´s analysis shows that the reform effort varies widely across countries and over time. In the second part of the paper, the author analyzes factors that may facilitate or hamper pension. Only the measure of trade union power proves to be significant in explaining pension reforms. However, specific pension system factors are significant and suggest that European governments do reform their pension systems when faced with the threat of escalating pension expenditures.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences in its journal Finance a uver - Czech Journal of Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 59 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (Oktober)
Pages: 292-308

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Handle: RePEc:fau:fauart:v:59:y:2009:i:4:p:292-308

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Keywords: pension system; European Union; pension reform; fiscal institutions;

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References

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  1. Deborah Roseveare & Willi Leibfritz & Douglas Fore & Eckhard Wurzel, 1996. "Ageing Populations, Pension Systems and Government Budgets: Simulations for 20 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 168, OECD Publishing.
  2. Drazen, A. & Grilli, V., 1991. "The Benefits of Crisis for Economic Reforms," Papers 27-91, Tel Aviv.
  3. Mukesh Chawla & Gordon Betcherman & Arup Banerji, 2007. "From Red to Gray : The "Third Transition" of Aging Populations in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6741, October.
  4. Petr Hedbávný & Ondřej Schneider & Jan Zápal, 2005. "A Fiscal Rule That Has Teeth: A Suggestion for a "Fiscal Sustainability Council" Underpinned by the Financial Markets," Working Papers IES 79, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised 2005.
  5. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1999. "Pension plans and retirement incentives," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20851, The World Bank.
  6. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2004. "Lessons for an Aging Society: The Political Sustainability of Social Security Systems," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2004-7, Center for Retirement Research.
  7. Schuknecht, Ludger, 2004. "EU fiscal rules: issues and lessons from political economy," Working Paper Series 0421, European Central Bank.
  8. Thai-Thanh Dang & Pablo Antolín & Howard Oxley, 2001. "Fiscal Implications of Ageing: Projections of Age-Related Spending," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 305, OECD Publishing.
  9. Libor Dušek & Juraj Kopecsni, 2008. "Policy Risk in Action: Pension Reforms and Social Security Wealth in Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia," Working Papers IES 2008/09, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jun 2008.
  10. Philip R. Gerson & G. A. Mackenzie & Peter S. Heller & Alfredo Cuevas, 2001. "Pension Reform and the Fiscal Policy Stance," IMF Working Papers 01/214, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Robert Holzmann, 1997. "Pension Reform, Financial Market Development, and Economic Growth: Preliminary Evidence from Chile," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 149-178, June.
  12. Martin Feldstein & Horst Siebert, 2002. "Social Security Pension Reform in Europe," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld02-2, October.
  13. Robert Jahoda & Jiøí Špalek, 2009. "Pension Reform through Voluntary Opt-Out: The Czech Case," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(4), pages 309-333, Oktober.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Grech, Aaron George, 2012. "Evaluating the possible impact of pension reforms on future living standards in Europe," MPRA Paper 39851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Aaron George Grech, 2010. "Assessing the sustainability of pension reforms in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43865, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Aaron George Grech, 2013. "How best to measure pension adequacy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51270, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Grech, Aaron George, 2013. "Pension reform sustainability in the EU: a pension wealth-based framework," MPRA Paper 48800, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Heinemann, Friedrich & Hennighausen, Tanja & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2011. "Intrinsic work motivation and pension reform acceptance," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-045, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. repec:cep:sticas:case161 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Robert Jahoda & Jiøí Špalek, 2009. "Pension Reform through Voluntary Opt-Out: The Czech Case," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 59(4), pages 309-333, Oktober.
  8. Jana Tepperová & Stanislav Klazar, 2012. "The Impact of Social Systems and their Coordination on Economic Migration," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2012(4), pages 505-522.

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