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European Welfare State Regimes and Their Generosity Toward the Elderly

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  • Axel Boersch-Supan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Axel Boersch-Supan, 2006. "European Welfare State Regimes and Their Generosity Toward the Elderly," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_479, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_479
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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 173-178, May.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guillem López & Ana Mosterin, 2007. "The drift of public spending towards the elderly: A generational analysis of the trend of public policies in Spain," Economics Working Papers 1051, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

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