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The political economy of derived pension rights

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  • M.-L. Leroux

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  • P. Pestieau

Abstract

Derived pension rights (including survivor benefits and spousal compensations for one-earner couples) exist in most Social Security systems but with variable generosity. They are mainly viewed as a means to alleviate poverty among older women living alone. The purpose of this paper is to explain how they can emerge from a political economy process when Social Security is a combination of Bismarckian and Beveridgean pillars. We find that the pension system should be contributive but with a positive level of derived rights. We also show that such a system encourages stay-at-home wives, thus revealing an unpleasant trade-off between female labor participation and poverty alleviation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Suggested Citation

  • M.-L. Leroux & P. Pestieau, 2012. "The political economy of derived pension rights," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(5), pages 753-776, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:19:y:2012:i:5:p:753-776
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-011-9205-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tetsuo Ono, 2016. "Marital Status and Derived Pension Rights: A Political Economy Model of Public Pensions with Borrowing Constraints," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(1), pages 99-124, February.
    2. Leroux, Marie-Louise & Pestieau, Pierre & Racionero, María, 2011. "Voting on pensions: Sex and marriage," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 281-296, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social Security; Derived pension rights; Majority voting; Individualization of pension rights; D72; D78; H55;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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