Challenges for European Welfare States
Content In the absence of social security reform, current pension entitlements of an aging population exceed future fiscal capacity. However, structural labor market reforms facilitate the transition to sustainable schemes in which a sizeable part of the current generosity of European welfare states can be maintained. In fact, many European states have already taken important steps in this direction. In the end insufficient productive capacities to support the welfare state pose smaller challenges to reform than do time inconsistencies built into the political process of redesigning pension plans.