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Reform des Sozialstaats in Deutschland und Frankreich: was auf dem Spiel steht (Welfare state policies in France and Germany : what is really at stake ?)

Listed author(s):
  • Arnaud Lechevalier

    (Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin, Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

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    Seit zwei Jahrzehnten wird in Deutschland wie in Frankreich eine Sozialpolitik betrieben, die größtenteils auf einer gemeinsamen Einschätzung der Probleme und Herausforderungen beruht, die sich aus der zunehmenden Alterung der Gesellschaft und dem Druck zu mehr Wettbewerbsfähigkeit und Wirtschaftswachstum für die gesetzliche Sozialversicherung ergeben. Die Problemanalyse rechtfertigt die aktuelle Dynamik, mit der die sozialen Sicherungssysteme u. a. auf mehr Privatisierung, mehr Eigenvorsorge und einer zielgenaueren Auswahl von Leistungen ausgerichtet werden. In einer ersten Phase stellt sich zunächst die Frage nach der Stichhaltigkeit der Diagnose, die wir durch diese Problemanalyse erhalten haben. Viele der Reformen beruhen nämlich auf Diagnosen der Herausforderungen, die sich bei näherer Betrachtung als problematisch erweisen. Neue Herausforderungen, die aber zumindest genau wichtig sind, werden in der öffentlichen Debatte weniger systematisch erforscht oder falsch bewertet. Deshalb findet die Reformbewegung, die in beiden Ländern seit einigen Jahren in Gang ist, häufig keine adäquaten Antworten auf die Problemstellungen. Diese neuen Fragen verweisen auf aktuelle gesellschaftliche und wirtschaftliche Veränderungsprozesse. In dieser Hinsicht werden in einer zweiten Phase drei Fragen zu untersuchen sein: die Verknüpfung zwischen den Entwicklungen in der EU und der Dynamik der jeweiligen Sozialleistungssysteme, die Wechselwirkung zwischen den Veränderungen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt und in den Lebensläufen der Menschen einerseits und der Sozialpolitik andererseits, neue Überlegungen hauptsächlich im Rahmen der Rentenreform zur Generationen-gerechtigkeit. Diese Herausforderungen erfordern, in Deutschland noch mehr als in Frankreich, einen neuen welfare mix, der über die Bismarcksche Tradition hinausgeht und neue Grundlagen schafft. English The Welfare State policies which have been followed for two decades in France and Germany are based on a common identification of the problems and challenges that result from the an ageing population and of the pressure to more competitiveness and more flexibility in a context of globalization. This problem analysis justifies the current dynamic of welfare states that aimed at retrenchment, at more contributivity and more selectivity. In a first section we investigate the accuracy of this diagnosis. Many of the reforms rest namely on an analysis of these challenges, which turn out upper closer examination to be problematical. New challenges which are at least so important for the future of social security systems, are however less systematically investigated or wrongly valued in the public debate. Therefore, the reform movement which has been running in both countries for some years often gives frequently no adequate answers to these new challenges, that refer to current social and economic change processes. In this respect three issues are examined in a second section. The first is the increasing impact of the European construction on national economic policy and, therefore, on social security systems. The second deals with the interaction between several changes on the labour market and in family structures, on the one hand, and the social security policy, on the other, in the perspective of the “transitional labor markets”. The third issue concerns new considerations mainly within the framework of the pension reform to intergenerational justice. These issues concern, to a lesser or greater extent, all the “regimes” of advanced welfare states, but the challenges which are associated with them and the answers which can be found differ according to the dominant logic of theses regimes. Through this overview of the French and German cases, it is more generally the question of the necessary adaptation of the – so called –conservative-corporatist regime-type which we will be discussed.

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    Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0406002.

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    Length: 55 pages
    Date of creation: 28 Jun 2004
    Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0406002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 55. Working Paper Centre Marc Bloch
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    1. Arnds, Pascal & Bonin, Holger, 2002. "Arbeitsmarkteffekte und finanzpolitische Folgen der demographischen Alterung in Deutschland," IZA Discussion Papers 667, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "What does the European Union do?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 275-319, June.
    3. Jeannine Bailliu & Helmut Reisen, 1998. "Do funded pensions contribute to higher aggregate savings? A cross-country analysis," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 134(4), pages 692-711, December.
    4. Élisabeth Algava & Mathieu Plane, 2001. "Vieillissement et protection sociale. Comparaison de six pays de l'Union Européenne," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 79(4), pages 261-314.
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