The Political Economy of Reform

Lessons from Pensions, Product Markets and Labour Markets in Ten OECD Countries

image of The Political Economy of Reform

This report examines why some policy reforms get implemented and others languish by examining 20 structural reform efforts in 10 OECD countries over the past two decades. The case studies cover a wide variety of reform attempts in three key areas: pensions, labour- and product-market regulation. Key factors in the political, economic and reform-specific arenas are identified as helping or hindering reform, and these findings are cross-checked using a relatively simple set of Spearman rank correlations. The report’s two-pronged analytical approach – quantitative and qualitative – results in unique insights for policy makers designing, adopting and implementing structural policy reforms.

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Reform of the general pension system, 1996-99

Poland introduced a comprehensive reform of its general old-age pension system in 1999 in order to put the system on an actuarially sound footing and ensure that pension liabilities were fully financed. The 1999 pension reform stands out for having been designed and adopted under two successive governments of different political orientations – perhaps the most important reform since 1989 to transcend the partisan divide thus.

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