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The Political Feasibility of Increasing the Retirement Age: Lessons from a Ballot on the Female Retirement Age

  • Monika Bütler

    ()

In 1998, the Swiss voters approved of an increase in the female retirement age within the public pension system from 62 to 64. The referendum, being on a single issue only, offers a unique opportunity to explore the political feasibility of pension reforms and to apply theoretical models of life-cycle decision making. Estimates carried out with municipality data suggest that the outcome of the vote conforms well with predictions drawn from a theoretical model. Young agents, elderly and—to a lesser extent—middle-aged men favor an increase in female retirement age, while middle-aged women strongly oppose it. Richer communities and those with a high proportion of self-employed or a low fraction of blue-collar workers are more likely to opt for a higher retirement age. Ideological preferences and regional differences also play a considerable role. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1016555700763
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 9 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 349-365

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:9:y:2002:i:4:p:349-365
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  1. Breyer, Friedrich, 1994. "The political economy of intergenerational redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 61-84, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Friedrich Breyer & Ben Craig, 1995. "Voting on social security: evidence from OECD countries," Working Paper 9511, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  4. Congleton, Roger D & Shughart, William F, II, 1990. "The Growth of Social Security: Electoral Push or Political Pull?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(1), pages 109-32, January.
  5. 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.
  6. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
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