Galasso, Vincenzo. "The Political Future of Social Security in Aging Societies." MIT Press Books (2008).
What is the future of social security in our aging societies? Will the growing number of elderly be able to rely on publicly provided retirement income for their old age consumption? And will these pension benefits be sufficiently large to support the needs of individuals whose life expectancy continues to increase? This book argues instead that social security policy decisions go beyond economic theory into the realm of politics. Since the effect of aging on our unfunded pension systems calls for either higher contribution rates or lower pension benefits, the political process will have to reconcile the conflicting interests of different generations. The crucial insight of this political economy approach to pensions is that the effect of aging on social security and the success of any reform proposal depend on political factors. Economically sound, clever reform projects that do not gain sufficient political support just do not represent a feasible option for policy-makers. In democratic countries a social security regime or reform is politically sustainable if supported by a majority in the Parliament or, more directly, in the electorate.