Thursday, January 20, 2011

New papers from the Social Science Research Network


"Pensions in Nigeria: The Performance of the New System of Personal Accounts" International Social Security Review, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 1-14, 2011

BERNARD H. CASEY, University of Warwick - Faculty of Social Studies

In 2004, Nigeria copied the 1981 Chilean pension reform and established a funded system based upon personal accounts. The new system was neither appropriate for a country such as Nigeria, nor did it meet aspirations of improving pension coverage or helping economic growth. The current financial and economic crisis hit the scheme in so far as it hit stock values. However, more important has been the negative real interest rates that can be earned on government bonds and on bank deposits where the majority of contributions are invested. Bank scandals and rising fiscal deficits do not breed confidence in the system or the government's ability to deliver meaningful benefits in old age.

"Multi-Pillared Social Insurance Systems: The Post-Reform Picture in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil" International Social Security Review, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 53-71, 2011

FLORENCIA ANTA, affiliation not provided to SSRN
ARNALDO PROVASI LANZARA, affiliation not provided to SSRN

This article focuses on an analysis of social insurance models and reforms in Chile, Uruguay and Brazil. Noting that these three countries are following different reform trajectories, the article explores trends in the restructuring of each of these insurance systems across the course of successive reforms. In the systems, different trends are supporting a closer link between contributions and benefits, according growing importance to private individual accounts and favouring the expansion of the role played by social assistance. These trends all suggest a move towards various forms of multi-pillared social insurance, but with uncertain results in terms of redistribution and the dynamics of the fundamental objectives of social insurance.

"Working Life and Retirement Pensions in Spain: The Simulated Impact of a Parametric Reform" International Social Security Review, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 73-93, 2011

RAFAEL MUOZ DE BUSTILLO, affiliation not provided to SSRN
PABLO DE PEDRAZA, affiliation not provided to SSRN
JOS IGNACIO ANTN, affiliation not provided to SSRN
LUIS ALBERTO RIVAS, affiliation not provided to SSRN

This article aims to offer an ex ante evaluation of the impact of a parametric reform of the Spanish pension system that would involve increasing the reference period used to calculate benefits, an approach proposed many times by various actors in the socioeconomic field. Such gradual change may be categorized as a non-structural reform of the pension system. This contrasts with reforms of a structural nature that have been very popular in Latin America and elsewhere, involving the creation of defined contribution individual account schemes. As regards the parametric reform proposed in this article, the main findings indicate that it would have a small but negative impact on pension income for pensioners and would reduce income distribution.

"The Swiss Social Insurance System: Social Security and Grass-Roots Democracy" International Social Security Review, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 95-110, 2011

PHILIPP PORTWICH, affiliation not provided to SSRN

The foundations of Switzerland's social insurance system can be traced to 1890 when a public referendum voted the inclusion of an article into the Federal Constitution that gave the executive the task of creating a sickness and accident insurance scheme. Currently, as in other European countries, the Swiss social insurance system is facing challenges as a result of rising health costs and demographic shifts, which are placing a growing burden on both public finances and private households. To reach policy decisions to address these challenges, the Swiss system is distinguishable from those of its European neighbours because of a continuing tradition of political decision-making based on grass-roots democracy: through referenda, the Swiss people remain directly responsible for the development of the national social insurance system. Importantly, not only might this unique feature of Swiss democracy lead the Swiss people more readily to accept and identify with their social insurance system but it may offer a sound democratic base upon which to build a consensual approach to address the policy challenges that lie ahead.

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