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Would you Like to Reform the Pension System? The Opinions of European Citizens

Author

Listed:
  • Boeri, Tito

    () (Bocconi University)

  • Börsch-Supan, Axel

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Tabellini, Guido

    () (Bocconi University)

Abstract

This paper sheds light on the difficulties of pension reforms by analyzing the citizens´opinions on different aspects of the welfare state and its redistributive programs. We focus on the pension system, reporting the results of a questionnaire conducted in Germany and Italy in the Fall 2001. Our questionnaire was designed to shed light on the following issues: Are citizens aware of the unsustainability of the pension system and informed of its costs? Are reforms opposed by a majority or by a powerful minority? Which reform options seem politically more feasible and why? Which groups of citizens are more likely to favor reforms? We find that citizens are aware of unsustainability but lack information about the cost of the PAYG system. The status quo is a majoritarian outcome along many dimensions: most reform proposals lack a mojority and there is limited scope of packaging as reformers rarely support more than one reform option. Later retirement is the easier reform in Italy while opting-out of the PAYG system is popular in Germany, but only of accompanied by mandatory savings and with no transition burdan.

Suggested Citation

  • Boeri, Tito & Börsch-Supan, Axel & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Would you Like to Reform the Pension System? The Opinions of European Citizens," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-22, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:02-22
    Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2002. "What We Know and What We Do NOT Know," MEA discussion paper series 02017, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    2. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Wilke, Christina Benita, 2007. "How an unfunded pension system looks like defined benefits but works like defined contribtuions : the German pension reform," Papers 07-09, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    3. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2016. "Rational Pension Policies," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 152(II), pages 103-124, June.
    4. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Coppola, Michela & Reil-Held, Anette, 1970. "Riester Pensions in Germany: Design, Dynamics, Targetting Success and Crowding-In," MEA discussion paper series 201220, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2007. "Rational pension reform," Papers 07-25, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    6. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2004. "Mind the Gap: The Effectiveness of Incentives to boost Retirement Saving in Europe," MEA discussion paper series 04052, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    7. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2007. "Rational Pension Reform," MEA discussion paper series 07132, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    8. Börsch-Supan, A. & Härtl, K. & Leite, D.N., 2016. "Social Security and Public Insurance," Handbook of the Economics of Population Aging, Elsevier.
    9. Börsch-Supan, Axel, 2015. "Rational pension policies," MEA discussion paper series 201509, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    10. Axel H. Börsch-Supan & Anette Reil-Held & Christina B. Wilke, 2007. "How an Unfunded Pension System looks like Defined Benefits but works like Defined Contributions: The German Pension Reform," MEA discussion paper series 07126, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    11. Axel Börsch-Supan & Tito Boeri & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Would you Like to Reform the Pension System?," MEA discussion paper series 02007, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    12. Axel Börsch-Supan, 2002. "Nach der Reform ist vor der Reform:Weitere Schritte für eine nachhaltige Reform der Altersvorsorge in Deutschland," MEA discussion paper series 02015, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    13. Tito Boeri & Axel Boersch-Supan & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Pension Reforms and the Opinions of European Citizens," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 396-401, May.

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