Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Reforming Pensions in Europe: Economic Fundamentals and Political Factors

Contents:

Author Info

Abstract

This paper analyzes pension reforms in Europe and their determinants. As pension reforms are intrinsically difficult to define and pinpoint, we introduce 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 a pension reform the country achieved (after controlling for other factors, such as demography). Our analysis shows that the reform effort varies widely across countries and over time. Indeed, only three countries in the EU managed to reduce their expected spending on pensions in both reference periods. In the second part of the paper, we analyze factors that may facilitate or hamper pension reform – quality of fiscal institutions, public debt, trade unions’ influence, and also demographic factors. Only the measure of trade union power proves to be significant in explaining pension reforms. Other factors, such as quality of fiscal institutions, size of the existing funded pillar, public debt or recent demographic developments, do not seem to play a significant role. However, specific pension system factors – most significantly the lagged change in pension expenditures – are significant and suggest that European governments do reform their pension systems when faced with the threat of escalating pension expenditures. In conclusion, we propose a hypothesis of “bounded” economic rationale of European governments, as they seem to react to expectations of an increase in pension spending, but they seem to be content with the current spending levels. The appendix gives detailed information on pension reforms in the ten Central and Eastern European countries that became EU members in 2004 and 2007 (EU-10).

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/default/file/download/id/10182
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies in its series Working Papers IES with number 2009/08.

as in new window
Length: 28pages
Date of creation: Feb 2009
Date of revision: Feb 2009
Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2009_08

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Opletalova 26, CZ-110 00 Prague
Phone: +420 2 222112330
Fax: +420 2 22112304
Email:
Web page: http://ies.fsv.cuni.cz/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

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

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1999. "Pension plans and retirement incentives," MPRA Paper 14755, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. Allan Drazen & Vittorio Grilli, 1990. "The Benefits of Crises for Economic Reforms," NBER Working Papers 3527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Martin Feldstein & Horst Siebert, 2002. "Social Security Pension Reform in Europe," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld02-2, May.
  8. Petr Hedbávný & Ondrej Schneider & Jan Zápal, 2005. "A Fiscal Rule that has Teeth: A Suggestion for a ‘Fiscal Sustainability Council’ underpinned by the Financial Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 1499, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2003. "Lessons for an Aging Society: The Political Sustainability of Social Security Systems," Working Papers 244, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  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. 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, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Schuknecht, Ludger, 2004. "EU fiscal rules: issues and lessons from political economy," Working Paper Series 0421, European Central Bank.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Aaron George Grech, 2010. "Assessing the sustainability of pension reforms in Europe," CASE Papers case140, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  3. repec:cep:sticas:case161 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Aaron George Grech, 2012. "Evaluating the possible impact of pension reforms on future living standards in Europe," CASE Papers /161, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  8. Grech, Aaron George, 2013. "Pension reform sustainability in the EU: a pension wealth-based framework," MPRA Paper 48800, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Grech, Aaron George, 2014. "Evaluating the possible impact of pension reforms on elderly poverty in Europe," MPRA Paper 57639, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2009_08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lenka Herrmannova).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.