Both advanced and developing countries suffer from the problem of social security, in particular old-age pension programmes for various reasons. Typical reasons for advanced countries are an ageing trend in the age-population structure, and a slower rate of economic growth in the macroeconomy. These changes suggest the necessity of policy reforms in advanced countries.
This book attempts to evaluate the effect of recent social security reforms in many advanced countries, in particular pension programmes, and to show several desirable policy recommendations.
This book evaluates three different policy reforms in order to solve problems common to developed nations. First, a shift from a pay-as-you-go system to a funded system is recommended. Second, privatization of the public pension system is proposed in several countries. Third, the contribution of tax revenues (i.e. tax financing) to social security benefits is suggested.
This book also considers both the theoretical and empirical aspects. 'Theoretical' implies that an evaluation is made based on both efficiency and equity grounds. 'Empirical' implies that countries like Australia, Germany, Japan, Scandinavia, the UK, and the US are evaluated empirically.
Both theoretical and empirical chapters help to recognize the present status of social security reforms in advanced countries.
All chapters in this book were presented as papers at a conference at the University of Tokyo in September 1998, which was organized by the present editors. The conference was sponsored by the Center for International Research on the Japanese Economy at the University of Tokyo. We are much indebted to the center both financially and logistically, and are grateful for their support.