Would you Like to Reform the Pension System?
Content The European welfare states have fundamental problems, in particular high unemployment and a mounting pressure on public pensions. Although these problems have been prominent topics of the political debate for years and years, we have seen little fundamental reform. Why this is so? One of the core hypotheses claims that the current state of affairs, as deplorable as it may be, is a political economy equilibrium that will only change if things get considerably worse. In order to shed light on this question, we have conducted a survey which solicits the opinions of citizens in France, Germany, Italy and Spain on public pensions, unemployment insurance, and possible reforms in both areas. This paper reports and interprets the answers.