Publication


Wilkoszewski, H.
Age trajectories of social policy preferences. How demographic change influences intergenerational relations
XXVI IUSSP International Population Conference 2009, 2009,
URL, JabRef BibTex, Abstract
The political discourse on demographic change has gained momentum in many developed countries. Whereas in its beginning the discussion centred on the question of how to politically influence population ageing (e.g. by raising fertility rates), political decision makers now seem to be concerned about its consequences on societal dynamics, especially intergenerational relations. This is particularly evident in Germany, where the latest pension rise provoked a discussion on a possible transformation of the political system into a “gerontocracy”, in which the elderly control public resources to their own benefit. In this paper we investigate, if there is evidence for such a scenario by looking at two main questions: First, what is the effect of age on preferences toward social policies, which organise public transfers between generations (family and pension policies)? Second, in how far does a possible age effect depend on further demographic factors, such as parenthood and marriage, which organise an individual’s life-course? In order to answer these questions, we use recent survey data (GGS 2005 and PPAS 2003), which we analyse by applying standard linear models as well as Generalised Additive Models. The latter allow us to identify the trajectories of a possible age effect and its dependency on other demographic variables. In contrast to most existing studies, our analyses show clear age effects: Older people are less likely to support a variety of transfers to families than younger respondents. At the same time, the elderly are more likely to support pension policy reforms that put an even higher burden on the younger generation. We can also show that the age effects found are not always linear and follow different trajectories across the life course. We therefore argue that classical economic concepts cannot fully explain age-based support for intergenerational transfers. Age effects have to be seen in light of further demographic variables beyond a solely economically specified life cycle.

Reference


@inproceedings{Wilkoszewski2009,
  author = {Wilkoszewski, H.},
  title = {Age trajectories of social policy preferences. How demographic change influences intergenerational relations},
  year = {2009},
  booktitle = {XXVI IUSSP International Population Conference 2009},
  month = {Sep},
  url = {http://iussp2009.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=92493},
  timestamp = {28.09.2011},
  owner = {Joklova},
  language = {English},
  address = {Marrakech},
  organization = {IUSSP},
  abstract = {The political discourse on demographic change has gained momentum in many developed countries. Whereas in its beginning the discussion centred on the question of how to politically influence population ageing (e.g. by raising fertility rates), political decision makers now seem to be concerned about its consequences on societal dynamics, especially intergenerational relations. This is particularly evident in Germany, where the latest pension rise provoked a discussion on a possible transformation of the political system into a “gerontocracy”, in which the elderly control public resources to their own benefit. In this paper we investigate, if there is evidence for such a scenario by looking at two main questions: First, what is the effect of age on preferences toward social policies, which organise public transfers between generations (family and pension policies)? Second, in how far does a possible age effect depend on further demographic factors, such as parenthood and marriage, which organise an individual’s life-course? In order to answer these questions, we use recent survey data (GGS 2005 and PPAS 2003), which we analyse by applying standard linear models as well as Generalised Additive Models. The latter allow us to identify the trajectories of a possible age effect and its dependency on other demographic variables. In contrast to most existing studies, our analyses show clear age effects: Older people are less likely to support a variety of transfers to families than younger respondents. At the same time, the elderly are more likely to support pension policy reforms that put an even higher burden on the younger generation. We can also show that the age effects found are not always linear and follow different trajectories across the life course. We therefore argue that classical economic concepts cannot fully explain age-based support for intergenerational transfers. Age effects have to be seen in light of further demographic variables beyond a solely economically specified life cycle.}
}

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