NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Entitlement Reforms in Europe: Policy Mixes in the Current Pension Reform Process

Axel H. Börsch-Supan

Chapter in NBER book Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis (2013), Alberto Alesina and Francesco Giavazzi, editors (p. 405 - 435)
Conference held December 12-13, 2011
Published in June 2013 by University of Chicago Press
© 2013 by the National Bureau of Economic Research

This chapter examines the state of pension systems in the major Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, and links the causes of current problems to the potential cures to make the typically pay-as-you-go financed entitlement programs in continental Europe sustainable above and beyond the financial crisis. It discusses examples that seem to be the most viable and effective options to bring the entitlement system closer to fiscal balance and still achieve their key aims (e.g., preventing old-age poverty). The chapter argues that there is nothing like "the optimal pension reform" since the initial state (in particular the current institutional setup) varies as much as the causes for problems in the future.

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This paper was revised on April 17, 2012

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w18009, Entitlement Reforms in Europe: Policy Mixes in the Current Pension Reform Process, Axel H. Börsch-Supan
Commentary on this chapter: Comment, David A. Wise
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