The ecomic demands of an ageing population, coupled with the crisis of public spending pose one of the greatest challenges to social policy in both the East and West. This book focuses on the political ecomy of pensions, particularly on the interaction between private and state provision. Enterprise and the Welfare State argues that there is more to welfare than simply provision by the state and so the focus of this book is on the welfare society rather than the welfare state. This requires a new system of statistical accounting and a different focus for case studies. A multidisciplinary approach is used to examine the design of the pensions system in nine countries with different institutional welfare mixes. Using a common conceptual framework, it compares and contrasts the goals and realities of the welfare systems in France, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden, where strong occupational pensions are in operation, with the more modest welfare states in Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each country case study provides a grounded analysis of the evolution of pension design and traces the impact of the policies on the ecomic well-being of the aged and the performance of the ecomy. It offers new data on the level of spending of enterprise based occupational pensions and examines the implications for redistribution resulting from changes in the design of state and occupational pensions. This book will be essential reading for academics, students and public policymakers interested in the ecomics of welfare, social policy and the future of pension provision.
Edited by Martin Rein, Professor of Social Policy, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US and Eskil Wadensjo, Professor of Labour Economics, Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University, Sweden