Early Birds and Laggards? A Comparison of the USA and France

  • Catherine Blair


First the cases of the USA and France are examined. In terms of reforming the state pension age, these two countries present substantially different reform paths and could be respectively described as ‘early bird’ and ‘laggard’ in terms of the timing and order of their reforms. This chapter, however, shows that their story is not as clear-cut as may seem at first. It investigates the factors leading up to the various reforms and draws comparative conclusions: in both countries the institutional lock-ins were not strong enough to prevent reforms, and indeed they do not enable us to predict any future reforms. Instead, what appears to have been crucial are the mechanisms by which policymakers were able to get round the institutional hindrances.


France pension age reform USA 


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© Catherine Blair 2014

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  • Catherine Blair

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