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Rethinking the Welfare State

The Political Economy of Pension Reform

Edited by Martin Rein and Winfried Schmähl

In this book a distinguished group of contributors discuss the changing political economy of pension reform. They focus on those countries which have launched a significant reframing of their pension system. Each chapter provides a detailed review of recent pension reforms and offers institutional evidence of the extent to which these reforms suggest a redirection of the welfare state towards a more public-private mix of policies. The countries were selected to represent the variety of new directions which mature industrial countries as well as countries in transition have taken.
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Chapter 16: Income Packaging and Economic Wellbeing in the Last Stage of the Working Career

Martin Rein and Heinz Stapf-Finé


Martin Rein and Heinz Stapf-Finé INTRODUCTION The main purpose of this study is to identify the changing composition of income in the last stage of the working career. As a first step, we identify cross-national differences in the income mix among households with a head over the age of 55, with a special focus on the age groups 60–64 and 65–9, which are the transitional ages towards retirement. Second, we compare the income package of households at the top and the bottom end of the income distribution. Third, we investigate how the income package of the 65–9 age group changed between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s. Finally, we examine the impact of these developments on the economic wellbeing of older people. Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) data are used to analyse the experience of ten countries: Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. LIS provides detailed data on income sources of most of the industrialized countries. The intention of the LIS project is to make income data internationally comparable, by introducing a common system of classification. HOW TO MEASURE INCOME PACKAGES In this section we address the following methodological questions: what are the sources of income and what are useful categories for grouping these different sources of income; what is the unit of analysis, and what are the different approaches for measuring the income package? 412 Income packaging and economic wellbeing 413 Income Sources The first methodological issue...

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