OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Old Age Income Maintenance

Basic Problems and Alternative Responses

The rapid increase -- over the next thirty years -- in the population share of persons above retirement age has led to a steady increase in attention paid by OECD Governments to questions concerning old age income maintenance. The attached paper looks at the proper role the Government can play in the provision of income for the elderly. The analysis starts with a discussion of the outcomes that can be expected under private contracting, in the absence of any specific Government intervention. Equity and efficiency concerns with these outcomes are identified, and the paper then examines how alternative forms of Government intervention, including comprehensive public old age pension schemes, can potentially improve on these outcomes. Explicit consideration is given to limitations on Governments' ability to achieve desired goals, as well as market distortions introduced by Government intervention ...


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