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European Welfare State Regimes and Their Generosity Toward the Elderly

  • Axel Boersch-Supan
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    This paper examines the generosity of the European welfare state toward the elderly. It shows how various dimensions of the welfare regimes have changed during the past 10 to 15 years and how this evolution is related to the process of economic integration. Dimensions include general generosity toward the elderly and, more specifically, generosity toward early retirement and generosity toward the poor. Using aggregate data (EUROSTAT, OECD) as well as individual data (SHARE, the new Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe), the paper looks at the statistical correlations among those types of system generosity and actual policy outcomes, such as unemployment and poverty rates among the young and the elderly, and the inequality in wealth, income and consumption. While the paper is largely descriptive, it also tries to explain which economic and political forces drive social expenditures for the elderly in the European Union and whether spending for the elderly crowds out spending for the young.

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    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/wp_479.pdf
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    Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_479.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_479
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    1. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C., 1996. "Jointly determined saving and fertility behaviour: Theory, and estimates for Germany, Italy, UK and USA," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1589, November.
    2. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, 07.
    3. Borsch-Supan, Axel & Schnabel, Reinhold, 1998. "Social Security and Declining Labor-Force Participation in Germany," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 173-78, May.
    4. Axel Borsch-Supan & Barbara Berkel, 2003. "Pension Reform in Germany: The Impact on Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 9913, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael Hurd & Arie Kapteyn, 2003. "Health, Wealth, and the Role of Institutions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
    6. Agar Brugiavini & Tullio Jappelli & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "The Survey on Health, Aging and Wealth," CSEF Working Papers 86, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
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