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The Political Economy of Population Aging

In: Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging

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  • Casamatta, G.
  • Batté, L.

Abstract

This paper reviews the latest developments in the political economy literature that are concerned with the consequences of population aging, with a primary focus on the threat posed by aging to the continued existence of public pension programs in developed countries. After briefly recalling why pay-as-you-go (PAYG) public pensions are supported by a political majority in the first place, we turn to analyzing how a drop in fertility or mortality rates will change the contribution rates and pension sizes at the political equilibrium, by first assuming a constant retirement age. Other theoretical works are discussed that are mainly concerned with endogenizing the retirement age choices and exploring the opportunity to transition to a fully funded (FF) system. Empirical assessments of the relationship between a population age structure and the size of its pension programs are also presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Casamatta, G. & Batté, L., 2016. "The Political Economy of Population Aging," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, in: Piggott, John & Woodland, Alan (ed.),Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 381-444, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hapoch:v1_381
    DOI: 10.1016/bs.hespa.2016.07.001
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    Keywords

    Demography; Public pensions/social security; Retirement; Political equilibrium/voting; Intergenerational transfers; H55 (Social Security and Public Pensions); J11 (Demographic Trends; Macroeconomic Effects; and Forecasts); D72 (Political Processes: Rent-Seeking; Lobbying; Elections; Legislatures; and Voting Behavior);

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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