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Portability of Pension, Health, and Other Social Benefits: Facts, Concepts, and Issues

41 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2012  

Robert Holzmann

University of Malaya; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); World Bank

Johannes Koettl

World Bank - Human Development Sector; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: November 27, 2012

Abstract

Portability of social benefits across professions and countries is an increasing concern for individuals and policy makers. Lacking or incomplete transfers of acquired social rights are feared to negatively impact individual labor market decisions as well as capacity to address social risks with consequences for economic and social outcomes. The paper gives a fresh and provocative look on the international perspective of the topic that has so far been dominated by social policy lawyers working within the framework of bilateral agreements; the input by economists has been very limited. It offers an analytical framework for portability analysis that suggests separating the risk pooling, (implicit or actual) pre-funding, and redistributive elements in the benefit design, and explores the proposed alternative approach for pensions and health care benefits. This promising approach may serve both as a substitute and complement to bi- and multilateral agreements.

Keywords: acquired rights, labor mobility, migration, individual accounts, bi-lateral agreements

JEL Classification: D690

Suggested Citation

Holzmann, Robert and Koettl, Johannes, Portability of Pension, Health, and Other Social Benefits: Facts, Concepts, and Issues (November 27, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2181333

Robert Holzmann (Contact Author)

University of Malaya ( email )

University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan 50603
Malaysia

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Johannes Koettl

World Bank - Human Development Sector ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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