Public Opinion and the Reform of the Pension Systems in Europe
30 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2010
Date Written: November 16, 2009
The demographic changes occurring in European countries in recent decades have made the public pension system one of the most debated policies of the welfare state. This paper analyzes attitudes in public opinion to the different reform alternatives being discussed in the public debate. To perform this analysis, we use comparative data from the Eurobarometer to compare the differences in the climates of opinion by country. The paper argues that there are significant differences between countries that may be explained in part by the typology of welfare state in each. At the same time, we contrast empirically whether the formation of opinions around the reform of the pension system is determined by ideological issues or whether, in contrast, individual preferences can be explained based on position in the social structure. In order to test the joint influence of national characteristics and individual variables on attitudes toward the reform, we use a combination of methodologies for multilevel analysis and joint estimation.
Keywords: retirement, welfare state, pensions, preferences
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