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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2012): Pensions - overseas

Fertility impact of high-coverage public pensions in sub-Saharan Africa

G. Holmqvist

Global Social Policy, vol.11, 2011, p. 152-174

The potential link between child-related cash transfers and increased fertility has been hotly debated. Old age pensions are also a form of cash transfer, but theory would suggest that their introduction should lead to a decrease in fertility. A small number of sub-Saharan African countries have introduced non-contributory social pensions that cover most older people. This article attempts to trace the impact that these high-coverage pension schemes may have had on fertility. The findings suggest that there has been such an impact, to the extent of 0.5 to 1.5 fewer children per woman, depending on model specification.

Pension systems and old-age income support in East and Southeast Asia: overview and reform directions

D. Park (editor)

Abingdon: Routledge, 2011

Old age income support will be one of the biggest social and economic challenges facing Asia in the 21st century. The growing spotlight on old age income support is largely due to exceptionally rapid population aging which is fundamentally reshaping Asia's demographic profile. A young continent reaping the demographic dividend of a large youthful workforce is giving way to a greying continent where the ratio of retirees to workers is on the rise. In contrast to industrialized countries, most Asian countries do not yet have mature, well-functioning pension systems. As a result, they are ill prepared to provide economic security for the large number of retirees who loom on the region's horizon. This book takes a close look at the pension systems of eight countries in East and Southeast Asia - namely, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - which encompass a wide range of income and development levels. The book provides a comprehensive overview of pension systems in the eight countries, including an in-depth diagnosis to identify their major weaknesses and shortcomings.

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