Social Policy and Old Age Provision
Maintaining Social, Economic and Political Stability in Times of Demographic Change
The above project is sponsored as a subproject by the MacArthur Foundation under the "Aging Societies Network" (subproject: "Social Cohesion" in collaboration with Dr. Lisa Berkman, Harvard University, and Prof. James Jackson, Ph.D., University of Michigan). It spotlights the individual, social, political and economic adjustments required to strengthen intergenerational solidarity in the wake of demographic change and to avoid generation conflicts. With the help of international comparisons, MEA tests economic hypotheses about potential losses of social cohesion on account of demographic change. These premises refer to politico-economic aspects, intergenerational networks, economic consequences and behavioral changes. One question is whether today's sense of responsibility vis-à-vis other generations has waned and, if so, what institutions (general statutory requirements, taxation and transfer schemes, or financial markets) might have brought this about. In conjunction with the analysis of fiscal transfers and non-monetary assistance between generations, a special focus is on whether state interventions tend to encourage or stifle private intergenerational support. The project has been successfully completed with a publication in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.