The Political Feasibility of Increasing Retirement Age: Lessons from a Ballot on Female Retirement Age

M. Butler

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Abstract

In 1998, the Swiss voters approved of an increase in female retirement age from 62 to 64.The referendum, being on a single issue only, offers a unique opportunity to explore the political feasibility of pension reforms and to apply theoretical models of life-cycle decision making.Estimates carried out with municipality data suggest that the outcome of the vote conforms relatively well with predictions drawn from a theoretical simulation study.There are, however, surprising gender differences even in married couples.Young agents, married middle-aged and all elderly men favor an increase in female retirement age, while middle-aged and elderly women strongly oppose it.Richer communities and those with a high proportion of self-employed or a low fraction of blue-collar workers are more likely to opt for a higher retirement age.Ideological preferences and regional differences also play a considerable role.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherMacroeconomics
Number of pages36
Volume2000-121
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2000-121

Keywords

  • retirement
  • female workers
  • decision making

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    Butler, M. (2000). The Political Feasibility of Increasing Retirement Age: Lessons from a Ballot on Female Retirement Age. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2000-121). Macroeconomics.