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Three routes to a pension reform. Politics and institutions in reforming pensions in Denmark, Finland and Sweden

Listed author(s):
  • Kangas, Olli


    (the Danish National Institute for Social Research)

  • Lundberg, Urban


    (Institute for Futures Studies)

  • Ploug, Niels


    (the Danish National Institute for Social Research)

Registered author(s):

    By analysing pension reforms in three Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland and Sweden that apply different institutional solutions in their old-age security programmes – the paper argues that the political processes that shaped the country-specific pension set-ups in the 1950s and 1960s had important ramifications for the subsequent possibilities to reform these schemes. There is a high degree of inertia both in institutions and in the political reform options. Thus, the analysis shows that the ‘new politics’ were not so new in any of the countries. Furthermore, the three cases accentuate the question: What is a pension reform? The Swedish reform in the late 1990s was ‘big bang’ where everything was changed, the Finns build on piecemeal reforms that gradually changed the whole system, while on the surface, the Danish story is about stability and status quo. However, the Danish policy ‘drift’ changed the basic characteristics of the system in the end.

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    Paper provided by Institute for Futures Studies in its series Arbetsrapport with number 2006:10.

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    Length: 46 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2006
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2006_010
    Note: ISSN 1652-120X ISBN 13: 978-91-89655-94-2; ISBN 10: 91-89655-94-X
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

    Phone: 08-402 12 00
    Fax: 08-24 50 14
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