The Political Economy of Pension Reform
Edited by Martin Rein and Winfried Schmähl
Martin Rein and Winfried Schmähl This book is about change in the political economy of pensions, what type of change took place, why and how it was realized and which outcome may be expected for the future. The chapters provide a detailed review of recent pension reforms in several countries, and oﬀer institutional evidence of the extent to which these reforms suggest there has been something of a rethinking of the directions of the welfare state and, more speciﬁcally, whether the rethinking has taken the form of changing the public–private mix of policies. We have cast a wide net covering the experience of 15 western countries that have in the past decade or so launched a signiﬁcant redirection of pension policy. The countries were selected to represent something of the great variety of new directions that mature industrial economies as well as economies in transition have taken. Two essays in this volume seek to provide a quantitative empirical foundation for examining the extent to which a change in the mix is evident in the income package of aged households. Finally, several chapters provide an overview of regional developments and emerging new patterns. The question that we want to explore in this introduction is whether there are some general conclusions that can be drawn from the essays in this book. Is the thesis about change in the political economy of pension reform leading to new forms of the public–private mix justiﬁed? What are the...