Local Bias and Adoption Patterns of Occupational Pensions in Germany

Environment and Planning A, Forthcoming

Posted: 3 Nov 2010 Last revised: 18 May 2012

See all articles by Dr. Csaba Burger

Dr. Csaba Burger

University of Oxford - Saint Peter's College Oxford

Date Written: November 2, 2010


The withdrawal of the welfare states from pensions underscores the need for a better understanding of the spatial characteristics of adoption processes in the case of financial innovations. In 2001, the German pension reform reduced the publicly provided pensions, and introduced subsidized, voluntary occupational plans to replace the loss in retirement income. This paper looks at the spatial and temporal adoptions of the newly created occupational pensions by analysing a unique, proprietary database, containing data of twelve thousand employers and 286 thousand employees working in the German metal- and electric industry. The study identifies metropolitan/non-metropolitan, East-West, and further geographical differences in the employers’ timing to adopt, which in turn influences employees’ decisions to enroll. Differences are identified among employee-level adoptions depending on the employers’ timing and further, individual-level factors. The results emphasize the importance of local bias in the transformation of old-age finances in the German welfare state.

Keywords: Economic Geography, Diffusion, Adoption, Individualisation, Riester Reform, Occupational Pension Enrollment

JEL Classification: D10, D91, G23, R11, R2

Suggested Citation

Burger, Csaba, Local Bias and Adoption Patterns of Occupational Pensions in Germany (November 2, 2010). Environment and Planning A, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1701765

Csaba Burger (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Saint Peter's College Oxford ( email )

New Inn Hall Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2DL
United Kingdom

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