06 May 2016

Ageing in Europe



The journal Intereconomics, published bi-monthly by CEPS and the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW), features articles dealing with economic and social policy issues affecting Europe.  Each issue contains a Forum section offering an in-depth exploration of a selected topic. All contributions to the Forum section in each issue, as well as the Editorial, are available for free downloading from the CEPS website at the links below (for full content, see www.intereconomics.eu).The May-June 2016 issue looks at different threads of the new reality of ageing in Europe.

Abstract: For many people all over Europe, there is an understanding and an expectation that in old age they will be taken care of by the state. High social security contributions throughout the three or four decades of a working life are rationalised by the prospect of a straightforward transition out of the labour force when the time comes. While this was a reasonable expectation in decades past, a number of factors have combined to cause people all across the continent to feel very anxious about what awaits them once it is time to exit the labour force into retirement. The well-documented demographic transition of many rich European countries is a big factor, as greying populations start to weigh on the sparser younger generations, leading to increasing dependency ratios that would cause any social security system to buckle. The Great Recession has not helped matters, and the austerity measures still crippling many vulnerable European nations will not make anyone in these countries feel optimistic about their post-working lives. The following papers look at different threads of the new reality of ageing in Europe, from pension reform and prolonging the working life to more qualitative aspects such as an analysis of the quality of life of the elderly across Europe. They serve to inform and advise on an important issue that will affect everyone in Europe at some point in their lives.

Authors: Andrew Zimbalist, Henriette Prast, Arthur van Soest, Florian Blank, Camille Logeay, Erik Türk, Josef Wöss, Rudolf Zwiener, Fritz von Nordheim, Jürgen Bauknecht, Andreas Cebulla, Alan Walker, Asghar Zaidi and Laurie Goodman

Editorial: The Organization and Economics of Sports Mega-Events

By Andrew Zimbalist

Forum: Financial Literacy and Preparation for Retirement

By Henriette Prast and Arthur van Soest

Forum: Why Is Austria’s Pension System So Much Better Than Germany’s?

By Florian Blank, Camille Logeay, Erik Türk, Josef Wöss and Rudolf Zwiener

Forum: The 2015 Pension Adequacy Report’s Examination of Extended Working Lives as a Route to Future Pension Adequacy

By Fritz von Nordheim

Forum: Extending Working Lives – Sticks and Carrots to Get the Older Unemployed Back into Employment

By Jürgen Bauknecht and Andreas Cebulla

Forum: New Evidence on Active Ageing in Europe

By Alan Walker and Asghar Zaidi

Letter from America: Reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Don’t Hold Your Breath

By Laurie Goodman