EUROPEAN PAPERS ON THE NEW WELFARE

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Why is the Employment Rate of Older Swiss so High? An Analysis of the Social Security System

Population ageing, better health of older persons, and lower birth rates will, in the near future, have a significant effect on the workings of labour markets in virtually all industrialized countries. There are three main reasons for this observation. First, these developments will inevitably change the age composition of the labour supply: the proportion of older workers in the labour market will increase. A second implication of the changing demographic structure is the negative effect that this development has on (primarily unfunded) public pension systems. Most pension funds in many industrialized countries are already confronted with severe financial difficulties, and innovative solutions for assuring future pensions are called for. Finally, the ongoing demographic change will, with the current retirement age, significantly reduce the labour supply. Furthermore, this reduction in labour supply cannot be compensated for by capital accumulation (e.g. Börsch-Supan, 2001).
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