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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2004): Pensions - Overseas

PENSION POLITICS IN THREE SMALL STATES: DENMARK, SWEDEN AND THE NETHERLANDS

K.M. Anderson

Canadian Journal of Sociology, vol.29, 2004, p.289-312

The article compares the statist pension scheme in Sweden with the privately organised (but collectively regulated) supplementary pensions of Denmark and the Netherlands. Each country's system is examined individually before being collectively analysed. The author argues that the Dutch and Danish schemes indicate that "social democratic" outcomes such as poverty alleviation can result from a number of different schemes, and not simply those provided by the state.

POPULATION AGING AND THE RISING COST OF PUBLIC PENSIONS

J. Bongaarts

Population and Development Review, vol.30, 2004, p.1-23

The article considers the growing problem of sustaining public pension funds in light of the increasing numbers of pensioners in all countries in the developed world. It begins by examining cross-country variation in current levels of old-age dependency and public pension expenditures and benefits before presenting projections to 2050 in demographic trends and pension expenditures if current trends continue. The author seeks to demonstrate that current trends are unsustainable and, in conclusion, explores a number of solutions to the problem, including higher fertility and permitting more immigration.

SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAMS AND RETIREMENT AROUND THE WORLD: MICRO-ESTIMATION

J. Gruber and D.A. Wise

London: University of Chicago Press, 2004

This volume includes country-by-country analysis of retirement behaviour based on micro-data. The result of research compiled in twelve countries, the data shows a strong relationship between the levels of social security incentives and retirement behaviour in each country. Furthermore, the estimates show that the effect is uniform in countries with very different cultural histories, labour market institutions and other socials characteristics. The authors claim that the advantage of micro-estimation is that in each country the effects on retirement of changes in social security provisions can be predicted.

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