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Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World

Fiscal Implications of Reform

The future of Social Security is troubled, both in the United States and in most other developed countries with aging populations. As improvements in health care and changes in life styles enable retirees to live longer than ever before, the stress on national budgets will increase substantially. In Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World, Jonathan Gruber, David A. Wise, and experts in many countries examine the consequences of reforming retirement benefits in a dozen nations.

Drawing on the work of an international group of noted economists, the editors argue that social security programs provide strong incentives for workers to leave the labor force by retiring and taking the benefits to which they are entitled. By penalizing work, social security systems magnify the increased financial burden caused by aging populations, thus contributing to the insolvency of the system.  This book is a model of comparative analysis that evaluates the effects of illustrative policies for countries facing the impending rapid growth of social security benefits. Its insights will help inform one of the most pressing debates.


"Like its predecessor NBER volumes from this project, the new book is informative and useful as a reference for social security schemes and looming problems in the covered countries."

Monika Buetler | Journal of Pension Economics and Finance

Table of Contents


Jonathan Gruber and David A. Wise

1. Microsimulation of Social Security Reforms in Belgium
Raphael Desmet, Alain Jousten, Sergio Perelman, and Pierre Pestieau

2. Simulating the Response to Reform of Canada’s Income Security Program
Michael Baker, Jonathan Gruber, and Kevin Milligan

3. Fiscal Implications of Reforms in Retirement Systems in Denmark
Paul Bingley, Nabanita Datta Gupta, and Peder J. Pedersen

4. Simulating Retirement Behavior: The Case of France
Emmanuelle Walraet and Ronan Mahieu

5. The Budget Impact of Reduced Early Retirement Incentives on the German Public Pension System
Axel Börsch-Supan, Simone Kohnz, and Reinhold Schnabel

6. Fiscal Implications of Pension Reforms in Italy
Agar Brugiavini and Franco Peracchi

7. Financial Implications of Social Security Reforms in Japan
Akiko S. Oishi and Takashi Oshio

8. Simulation of Pension Reforms in The Netherlands
Arie Kapteyn and Klaas de Vos

9. Evaluating Spanish Pension Expenditure under Alternative Reform Scenarios
Michele Boldrin and Sergi Jiménez-Martín

10. Financial Implications of Income Security Reforms in Sweden
Mårten Palme and Ingemar Svensson

11. Fiscal Effects of Reforming the UK State Pension System
Richard Blundell and Carl Emmerson

12. Fiscal Effects of Social Security Reform in the United States
Courtney Coile and Jonathan Gruber


Author Index

Subject Index

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