Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics

, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 103–124 | Cite as

Rational Pension Policies

  • Axel Börsch-Supan
Open Access


Aim of this keynote is to develop a framework how to approach the design of pension policies as rationally as possible. The first step is to realize and accommodate endogenous adjustments. The second step is to align the root causes of demographic change with corresponding reform steps which include but are not confined by pension reform. The third step is to separate the issues as best as possible to strengthen the political feasibility of reform.

The paper shows that relatively few and moderate reform steps suffice to solve the demographic problem in countries such as Germany and Switzerland. This is in striking contrast to the widespread resistance to reform. We falsify some of the myths, prejudices and misperceptions which make reforms politically so hard to put into place.


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Copyright information

© Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Axel Börsch-Supan
    • 1
  1. 1.Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max-Planck-Institute for Social Law and Social Policy; Technical University of Munich (TUM); and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)CambridgeUSA

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