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Economic Crises and Globalisation as Drivers of Pension Privatisation: an Empirical Analysis

Pension systems are core institutional arrangements that are expected to be stable and reliable over consecutive generations. Nevertheless, reforms in pension provision intensified over the past decades, with several countries opting for privatisation of their pension system. We ask
which factors lead governments to privatise pension systems and focus on economic crises and different facets of increased global pressures. We conduct duration analyses on a cross-section of nearly 100 economies among which 28 privatise their pension system between 1981 and
2012. Consistent with the crisis-begets-reform hypothesis, we find that severe economic crises speed up reform implementation. Likewise, high growth in economic and political globalisation is conducive for pension privatisation. These findings are robust to a variety of alternations in the
empirical methodology.

Keywords
economic crisis, pension reform, globalisation, duration analysis, privatisation

Published on 21st August 2017
Authors Markus Leibrecht, Joelle H. Fiong
Series Reference ICM-2017-05