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Pensions and the path to gerontocracy in Germany

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  • Sinn, Hans-Werner
  • Uebelmesser, Silke

Abstract

An impending demographic crisis in Germany calls for fundamental reforms of the pension system. In a democracy, however, reforms require the support of the majority of the electorate. To determine whether the majority is in favour of reforms of the pension system, we calculate for each year the \"indifference age\" as the age of the cohort that is not affected by the reform and the \"median age\" as the age of the politically decisive cohort. Until 2016, a reform can be democratically enforced. After 2016, Germany will be a gerontocracy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19563.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Publication status: Published in European Journal of Political Economy 1 19(2003): pp. 153-158
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19563

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  1. Browning, Edgar K, 1975. "Why the Social Insurance Budget Is Too Large in a Democracy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 373-88, September.
  2. Vincenzo Galasso, 1999. "The US Social Security System: What Does Political Sustainability Imply?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 2(3), pages 698-730, July.
  3. Butler, Monika, 2000. "The political feasibility of pension reform options: the case of Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 389-416, March.
  4. Galasso, Vincenzo & Profeta, Paola, 2002. "The political economy of social security: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, March.
  5. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1999. "Pension Reform and Demographic Crisis: Why a Funded System is Needed and why it is not Needed," CESifo Working Paper Series 195, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Breyer, Friedrich, 1994. "The political economy of intergenerational redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 61-84, May.
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