This timely volume brings together specialists on the reform of social security systems to analyze the similarities and differences of those health care and pension reforms that have taken place since the early 1990s and suggests possible gains through recent or contemplated revisions to those systems.
Winner of the 1998 Paul A. Samuelson Award given by TIAA-CREF, The Evolution of Retirement is the first comprehensive economic history of retirement in America. With life expectancies steadily increasing, the retirement rate of men over age 64 has risen drastically. Dora L. Costa looks at factors underlying this increase and shows the dramatic implications of her findings for both the general public and the U.S. government. Using statistical, and demographic concepts, Costa sheds light on such important topics as rising incomes and retirement, work and disease, the job prospects of older workers, living arrangements of the elderly, the development of a retirement lifestyle, and pensions and politics.
"[Costa's] major contribution is to show that, even without Social Security and Medicare, retirement would have expanded dramatically."—Robert J. Samuelson, New Republic
"An important book on a topic which has become popular with historians and is of major significance to politicians and economists."—Margaret Walsh, Business History
As populations age and revenues diminish, government and private pension funds around the world are facing insolvency. The looming social security crisis is especially dire for women, who live longer than men but have worked less in the formal labor force. This groundbreaking study examines alternative social security systems and their disparate impacts on men and women. Emphasis is placed on the new multi-pillar systems that combine a publicly managed benefit and a mandatory private retirement saving plan.
The Gender Impact of Social Security Reform compares the gendered outcomes of social security systems in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico, and presents empirical findings from Eastern and Central European transition economies as well as several OECD countries. Women’s positions have improved relative to men in countries where joint pensions have been required, widows who have worked can keep the joint pension in addition to their own benefit, the public benefit has been targeted toward low earners, and women’s retirement age has been raised to equality with that of men. The Gender Impact of Social Security Reform will force economists and policy makers to reexamine the design features that enable social security systems to achieve desirable gender outcomes.
In Invoking the Invisible Hand Robert Asen scrutinizes contemporary debates over proposals to privatize Social Security. Asen argues that a rights-based rhetoric employed by Social Security's original supporters enabled advocates of privatization to align their proposals with the widely held belief that Social Security functions simply as a return on a worker's contributions and that it is not, in fact, a social insurance program.
By analyzing major debates over a preeminent American institution, Asen reveals the ways in which language is deployed to identify problems for public policy, craft policy solutions, and promote policies to the populace. He shows how debate participants seek to create favorable contexts for their preferred policies and how they connect these policies to idealized images of the nation.
Social Security is now the federal government's largest, and probably its most popular, program. It has performed well and grown hugely over the twentieth century, with the trust fund that pays benefits generally being kept financially solvent and paying people a decent return on their contributions.
But all of that could change, with the slowdown in fertility, longer life expectancies, and slower economic growth expected for the twenty-first century. Now it looks as though a continuation of the present system will entail progressively higher payroll tax rates and progressively lower rates of return on people's contributions, especially for younger Americans.
Edward M. Gramlich, who chaired the Social Security Advisory Council that concluded its two-and-a- half-year investigation in January 1997, believes there is just one way to preserve the main social protections of Social Security while still restoring its financial affordability. This approach involves moving to more advanced funding of future benefit costs.Gramlich argues for a sensible way to bring about such a change, by combining modest curbs on the future growth of benefits with mandatory saving accounts on top of Social Security. The combination cuts the future growth in pension spending, restores the finances of the trust fund, and makes Social Security benefits affordable to the nation as a whole.
The book also reviews some prominent Social Security-type program reform efforts also underway in other parts of the world. It shows how the type of Social Security reform suggested above compares favorably to the reforms now being undertaken in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Chile.
Written in an accessible and engaging style, the book is a must-read for all people who wish to be well informed about Social Security reform, the outcome of which will affect all U.S. citizens, how we view and save for our future, and how we will live once we retire.
"Social security is one of the most talked about economic and social policy issues of the decade. Almost everybody knows something about it, but few of us know what should be done to keep it solvent and sufficient. In plain language, Gramlich lays out the issues and explains the options. Is It Time to Reform Social Security? will be an informative guide for the concerned public and a valued reference for responsible policy makers." --Lana Pollack, President of the Michigan Environmental Council and former Michigan State Representative
". . . a clear, concise, nontechnical overview of Social Security and its future funding problems by a very knowledgeable and well-respected analyst. Gramlich discusses a wide range of reform options, drawn from both home and abroad. His own proposal, to 'mend it rather than end it,' is an attractive compromise between those who prefer as little reform as possible, and thos who want to change fundamentally a system that has worked well for sixty years." --Joseph Quinn, Boston College
Edward M. Gramlich is Professor of Economics and Dean of the School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.
A funny, smart, and engaging book on Social Security? You bet! Let Bill and Betty Boomer, their parents Ed and Ethel Elderly, and the young married Steve and Sue Sprout take you through the thickets of this thorny issue. You will come to understand why people are so worried about Social Security, how it operates, how we can keep it going, the problems we would face under a privatized system, and why Americans have always chosen to shore up this important program. You will learn about the system and the current debates surrounding it--and find yourself enjoying it at the same time.
Barbara R. Bergmann is Professor Emerita, University of Maryland and The American University. Jim Bush is the editorial cartoonist for the Providence Journal.
While welfare has been subject to pronounced criticism throughout the twentieth century, social insurance has consistently enjoyed the overwhelming support of European policy makers and citizens. This volume argues that the emergence of social insurance represents a paradigmatic shift in modern understandings of health, work, political participation, and government. By institutionalizing compensation, social insurance transformed it into a right that the employed population quickly came to assume.
Theoretically informed and based on intensive archival research on disability insurance records, most of which have never been used by historians, the book considers how social science and political philosophy combined to give shape to the idea of a "social" insurance in the nineteenth century; the process by which social insurance gave birth to modern notions of "disability" and "rehabilitation"; and the early-twentieth-century development of political action groups for the disabled.
Most earlier histories of German social insurance have been legislative histories that stressed the system's coercive features and functions. Making Security Social, by contrast, emphasizes the administrative practices of everyday life, the experience of consumers, and the ability of workers not only to resist, but to transform, social insurance bureaucracy and political debate. It thus demonstrates that social insurance was pivotal in establishing a general attitude of demand, claim, and entitlement as the primary link between the modern state and those it governed.
In addition to historians of Germany, Making Security Social will attract researchers across disciplines who are concerned with public policy, disability studies, and public health.
Greg Eghigian is Associate Professor of History, Penn State University.
The way Americans live and work has changed significantly since the creation of the Social Security Administration in 1935, but U.S. social welfare policy has failed to keep up with these changes. The model of the male breadwinner-led nuclear family has given way to diverse and often complex family structures, more women in the workplace, and nontraditional job arrangements. Old Assumptions, New Realities identifies the tensions between twentieth-century social policy and twenty-first-century realities for working Americans and offers promising new reforms for ensuring social and economic security. Old Assumptions, New Realities focuses on policy solutions for today's workers—particularly low-skilled workers and low-income families. Contributor Jacob Hacker makes strong and timely arguments for universal health insurance and universal 401(k) retirement accounts. Michael Stoll argues that job training and workforce development programs can mitigate the effects of declining wages caused by deindustrialization, technological changes, racial discrimination, and other forms of job displacement. Michael Sherraden maintains that wealth-building accounts for children—similar to state college savings plans—and universal and progressive savings accounts for workers can be invaluable strategies for all workers, including the poorest. Jody Heymann and Alison Earle underscore the potential for more extensive work-family policies to help the United States remain competitive in a globalized economy. Finally, Jodi Sandfort suggests that the United States can restructure the existing safety net via state-level reforms but only with a host of coordinated efforts, including better information to service providers, budget analyses, new funding sources, and oversight by intermediary service professionals. Old Assumptions, New Realities picks up where current policies leave off by examining what's not working, why, and how the safety net can be redesigned to work better. The book brings much-needed clarity to the process of creating viable policy solutions that benefit all working Americans. A West Coast Poverty Center Volume
Christoffer Green-Pedersen's insightful examination of political party strategy in Europe reveals strong links between party consensus and policy retrenchment, arguing that the former allows governments to frame retrenchment in a way that justifies it to the electorate. In the Netherlands, Green-Pedersen shows, such consensus emerged in the mid-1980s, allowing the government to implement a number of welfare retrenchments; in Denmark, consensus did not emerge until the Social Democratic Party re-entered government in 1993, leading to less welfare-state retrenchment than in the Netherlands.
For generations, debating the expansion or contraction of the American welfare state has produced some of the nation's most heated legislative battles. Attempting social policy reform is both risky and complicated, especially when it involves dealing with powerful vested interests, sharp ideological disagreements, and a nervous public.
The Politics of Policy Change compares and contrasts recent developments in three major federal policy areas in the United States: welfare, Medicare, and Social Security. Daniel Béland and Alex Waddan argue that we should pay close attention to the role of ideas when explaining the motivations for, and obstacles to, policy change.
This insightful book concentrates on three cases of social policy reform (or attempted reform) that took place during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Béland and Waddan further employ their framework to help explain the meaning of the 2010 health insurance reform and other developments that have taken place during the Obama presidency. The result is a book that will improve our understanding of the politics of policy change in contemporary federal politics.
Beginning with the stock market crash of 1929, Blanche Coll documents the evolution of the federal and state government policymaking for welfare and Social Security, our "safety net." As Coll points out, the policies that determine who is "entitled" to aid, how standard dollar amounts are set, child support responsibilities, the equitable fiscal division between state, federal, and local governments, and the resulting impact on the poorÐÐparticularly women and children of all racesÐÐhave fluctuated throughout the history of welfare.
Coll shows how demographic patterns, the definition of a family, the relative health of the economy, and Presidents' political agendas all deeply affect the system of entitlements to Social Security and welfare, the kernal of the American welfare state.
Safety Net is the only comprehensive history of modern welfare in the United States. Clearly written and unpolemical, it is based on a wealth of primary sources, interviews with key policymakers, and the authoritative analysis of a trained historian who served as a research administrator in the federal government through Democractic and Republican administrations. Saftey Net will be indispensable reading for everyone concerned with contemporary debates about welfare and Social Security.
As the Clinton administration considers major overhauls in health insurance, welfare, and labor market regulation, it is important for economists and policymakers to understand the impact of social and welfare programs on employment rates. This volume explores how programs such as social security, income transfers, and child care in Western Europe, the United States, and Japan have affected labor market flexibility—the ability of workers to adjust to fast-growing segments of the economy.
Does tying health insurance to employment limit job mobility? Do housing policies inhibit workers from moving to new jobs in different areas? What are the effects of daycare and maternity leave policies on working mothers? The authors explore these and many other questions in an effort to understand why European unemployment rates are so high compared with the U.S. rate. Through an examination of diverse data sets across different countries, the authors find that social protection programs do not strongly affect labor market flexibility.
A valuable comparison of labor markets and welfare programs, this book demonstrates how social protection policies have affected employment rates around the globe.
Many of us suspect that Social Security faces eventual bankruptcy. But the government projects its future finances using long outdated methods. Employing a more up-to-date approach, Jagadeesh Gokhale here argues that the program faces insolvency far sooner than previously thought.
To assess Social Security’s fate more accurately under current and alternative policies, Gokhale constructs a detailed simulation of the forces shaping American demographics and the economy to project their future evolution. He then uses this simulation to analyze six prominent Social Security reform packages—two liberal, two centrist, and two conservative—to demonstrate how far they would restore the program’s financial health and which population groups would be helped or hurt in the process.
Arguments over Social Security have raged for decades, but they have taken place in a relative informational vacuum; Social Security provides the necessary bedrock of analysis that will prove vital for anyone with a stake in this important debate.
What accounts for the striking decline in labor force participation at increasingly younger ages? Social Security and Retirement around the World examines one explanation: social security programs actually provide incentives for early retirement. This volume houses a set of remarkable papers that present information on the social security systems, and labor force participation patterns, in Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
"This book is highly recommended for the serious student of retirement age trends and social security old-age pension policies of industrial nations in a cross-national context." Martin B. Tracy, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
“A path-breaking public-policy study. The authors consistently use a new methodology to evaluate the consequences of retirement systems on the behavior of older workers in eleven industrialized countries. In doing so, the book passes a major test of any conference volume the whole greatly exceeds the sum of its parts. This book without question provides the most consistent cross-national analyses of the work disincentives of retirement programs ever produces. Moreover it will serve as the model for all future efforts of this kind.” Journal of Economics
A comprehensive and sophisticated study of the relationship between social security policy and inequality in Latin America. Individual case studies of Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, and Mexico are presented, that provide a historical analysis of each country's social security policy, the pressure groups involved, the present structure of the systems, and a statistical examination of the inequality among these pressure groups.
Social Security Policy in a Changing Environment analyzes the changing economic and demographic environment in which social insurance programs that benefit elderly households will operate. It also explores how these ongoing trends will affect future beneficiaries, under both the current social security program and potential reform options. In this volume, an esteemed group of economists probes the challenge posed to Social Security by an aging population. The researchers examine trends in private sector retirement saving and health care costs, as well as the uncertain nature of future demographic, economic, and social trends—including marriage and divorce rates and female participation in the labor force. Recognizing the ambiguity of the environment in which the Social Security system must operate and evolve, this landmark book explores factors that policymakers must consider in designing policies that are resilient enough to survive in an economically and demographically uncertain society.
In nearly every industrialized country, large aging populations and increased life expectancy have placed enormous pressure on social security programs—and, until recently, the pressure has been compounded by a trend toward retirement at an earlier age. With a larger fraction of the population receiving benefits, in coming decades social security in many countries may have to be reformed in order to remain financially viable.
This volume offers a cross-country analysis of the effects of disability insurance programs on labor force participation by older workers. Drawing on measures of health that are comparable across countries, the authors explore the extent to which differences in the labor force are determined by disability insurance programs and to what extent disability insurance reforms are prompted by the circumstances of a country’s elderly population.
Many countries have social security systems that are currently financially unsustainable. Economists and policy makers have long studied this problem and identified two key causes. First, as declining birth rates raise the share of older persons in the population, the ratio of retirees to benefits-paying employees increases. Second, as falling mortality rates increase lifespans, retirees receive benefits for longer than in the past. Further exacerbating the situation, the provisions of social security programs often provide strong incentives to leave the labor force.
Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World offers comparative analysis from twelve countries and examines the issue of age in the labor force. A notable group of contributors analyzes the relationship between incentives to retire and the proportion of older persons in the workforce, the effects that reforming social security would have on the employment rates of older workers, and how extending labor force participation will affect program costs. Dispelling the myth that employing older workers takes jobs away from the young, this timely volume challenges a raft of existing assumptions about the relationship between old and young people in the workforce.
States And Labor Markets
edited by John Myles and Jill Quadagno Temple University Press, 1991 Library of Congress HD7105.3.S74 1991 | Dewey Decimal 331.398
During the last decade worries about population aging, increases in national expenditures for the elderly, and the trend toward early retirement have aroused new concerns about the future of old-age security. Myles and Quadagno have assembled a collection of original essays that examine how different countries have responded to these issues.
The essays in Part I explore the recent politics of old age in Great Britain, Canada, Poland, Scandinavia, West Germany, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and Australia. They demonstrate that while, during the Reagan and Thatcher era, the United States and Great Britain forged debates about old-age policies around a neo-conservative agenda, other countries facing similar matters followed different paths. In Part II, the authors examine how transformations in labor- market practices are gradually altering the status of older workers and with it our conventional understanding of old age.
The reconstruction of the international division of labor, the shift of employment from goods to services, and the adoption of new, knowledge-intensive technologies are changing the economic and political basis of the organization of old age. As we move toward the next century, these essays provide a starting point for a new generation of studies in the political economy of aging.
The sweeping political and economic changes of the past decade—including the spread of democracy, pro-market policies, and economic globalization—have dramatically increased the demand in developing countries for social programs such as unemployment compensation, pensions, and income supplements for the poor. When Markets Fail examines how emerging market economies in Eastern Europe, Latin America, North Africa, and the Middle East are shaping their social policies in response to these changes. The contributors—leading scholars of development and social policy—use detailed case studies to examine whether the emerging economies are likely to move toward European-style welfare systems, characterized by high unemployment benefits and large entitlements, or if they will opt for more austere, stripped-down welfare regimes. They find that much will depend on how well emerging economies perform economically, but that the political forces, ideological preferences, and historical backgrounds of each country will also play a decisive role. In his chapter on Central and Eastern Europe, Peter Lindert focuses on how aging populations and the fall of communism have fostered increased need for social assistance in the region. In contrast, Nancy Birdsall and Stephen Haggard highlight the positive role of democratization and Western-style social programs in promoting East Asian social policies. Zafiris Tzannatos and Iqbal Kaur argue that governments in North Africa and the Middle East must foster both human capital formation and competition in the market for social services if they are to meet the growing need for services. When Markets Fail presents some evidence that a global convergence in social policies may be taking place: as Europe slowly makes its welfare provisions less generous, the emerging market economies will be under increasing demographic and political pressure to make their social welfare systems more comprehensive. The book also examines the vital role that organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development Bank can play in fostering effective social services in developing economies. Economic globalization and political liberalization have produced many economic winners around the world, but these forces have created losers as well. When Markets Fail addresses the problem of how governments in developing countries have responded to the plight of those losers through social policy. The success of these policies, however, remains sharply contested, as is their role in helping to achieve meaningful poverty reduction. When Markets Fail is essential reading for anyone interested in economic liberalization and its consequences for the developing world.