01.01.2003 - 31.12.2011 / Social Policy and Old Age Provision
Politico-Economic Analysis of Pension Reform Options
Pension reforms constitute difficult political undertakings because they deeply impact the socio-political balance between contributories and beneficiaries, between the young and the old, the rich and the poor, employees and the self-employed, and so forth. Counterbalancing burdens in the near future with reductions in the remote future presents a particular challenge. This international project set out to explore how citizens view diverse reform options. In the first part, Axel Börsch-Supan, Prof. Dr. Tito Boeri and Prof. Dr. Guido Tabellini (both from Università Bocconi, Milan) conducted a transnational survey on the subject in spring 2000, posing identical questions in Germany, Italy, France and Spain. The findings revealed that respondents were thoroughly prepared to accept reforms, but displayed an alarmingly high information deficit as to the limits and prospects of the different reform options. In order to examine the influence of the pension reform meanwhile adopted in Germany, the survey was repeated several times in this country as well as in Italy. The recent questionnaires employed novel survey techniques that permit a more precise assessment of citizens' personal preferences for the individual reform options. This study has been continued as a subproject of SFB 884 (Political Economy of Reforms) at the University of Mannheim.