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Volume 59, Issue 4


Reforming Pensions in Europe: Economic Fundamentals and Political Factors

Schneider, Ondřej

Year: 2009   Volume: 59   Issue: 4   Pages: 292-308

Abstract: This paper analyzes pension reforms in Europe and their determinants. We introduce an alternative measure of pension reforms by comparing long-term forecasts of pension expenditures for seventeen European countries. The larger the decrease in expected spending on public pensions in 2050 between two base years, the more successful an pension reform the country achieved (after controlling for other factors, such as demography). Our analysis shows that the reform effort varies widely across countries and over time. In the second part of the paper, we analyze factors that may facilitate or hamper pension. Only the measure of trade union power proves to be significant in explaining pension reforms. However, specific pension system factors are significant and suggest that European governments do reform their pension systems when faced with the threat of escalating pension expenditures.

JEL classification: D72; H55, P26

Keywords: pension system, European Union, pension reform, fiscal institutions


RePEc: http://ideas.repec.org/a/fau/fauart/v59y2009i4p292-308.html

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