Reforming Early Retirement in Europe, Japan and the USA

Paperback | October 16, 2008

byBernhard Ebbinghaus

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Since the 1970s early exit from work has become a major challenge in modern welfare states. Governments, employers, and unions alike once thought of early retirement as a peaceful solution to the economic problems of mass unemployment and industrial restructuring. Today governments andinternational organizations advocate the postponement of retirement and an increase in activity among older workers. Comparing the USA, eight European countries, and Japan, this book demonstrates significant cross-national differences in early retirement across countries and over time. The studyevaluates the impact of major variations in welfare regimes, production systems, and labor relations. It stresses the importance of the 'pull factor' of extensive welfare state provisions, particularly in Continental Europe; the 'push factor' of labor shedding strategies by firms, particularly inAnglo-American market economies; and the role of employers and worker representatives in negotiating retirement policies, particularly in coordinated market economies. Over the last three decades, early retirement has become a popular social policy and employment practice in the workplace, adding tothe fiscal crises and employment problems of today's welfare states. Attempts to reverse early retirement policies have led to major reform debates. Unilateral government policies to cut back on social benefits have not had the expected employment results due to resistance from employers, workers,and their organizations. Successful reforms require the cooperation of both sides. This study provides comprehensive empirical analysis and a balanced approach to studying both the pull and the push factors affecting early exit from work needed to understand the development of early retirementregimes.

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Since the 1970s early exit from work has become a major challenge in modern welfare states. Governments, employers, and unions alike once thought of early retirement as a peaceful solution to the economic problems of mass unemployment and industrial restructuring. Today governments andinternational organizations advocate the postponeme...

Bernhard Ebbinghaus is Professor of Macrosociology at the University of Mannheim and Head of the Research Department on "European Societies and their Integration"at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES). He received his Ph.D. from the European University Institute in Florence and his Habilitation from the University ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:October 16, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199553394

ISBN - 13:9780199553396

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Exploring Interests and Institutions1. Introduction: The Paradox of Early Exit from Work2. Actor Constellations and Interest Coalitions: Labor, Emoployers, and the State3. Protection, Production, anfd Partnership Institutions: From Institutional Affinities to ComplementaritiesPart 2: Comparing Early Exit Regimes4. Ever Earlier Retirement: Comparing Employment Trajectories5. The Protection-Pull Factors: Multiple Pathways to Early Exit6. The Production-Push Factors: The Political Economy of Labor SheddingPart 3: Reform Obstacles and Opportunities7. Exit from Early Retirement: Paradigm Shifts, Policy Reversals, and Reform Obstacles8. Conclusion: From Path Dependence to Path Departure?BibliographyAppendix Note