Public Choice

, Volume 150, Issue 1–2, pp 327–362 | Cite as

Does information increase political support for pension reform?

Article

Abstract

An opinion poll on a representative sample of Italians suggests that it does. We focus on reforms increasing retirement age or cutting pension benefits. We find that individuals who are more informed about the costs and functioning of the pension system are more willing to accept reforms. We do not find that exposure to media coverage of pension issues significantly improves information. We perform a controlled experiment asking a random subsample of individuals to read a descriptive note on the Italian pension system before answering the questionnaire, finding that citizens reading the note are more willing to support pension reforms.

Keywords

Pension reform Information Policy opinions 

JEL Classification

H55 J26 D8 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Althaus, S. (1998). Information effects in collective preferences. American Political Science Review, 92(3), 545–558. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartels, L. (1996). Pooling disparate observations. American Journal of Political Science, 40, 905–942. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blinder, A. S., & Krueger, A. B. (2004). What does the public know about economic policy and how does it know it? Brooking Papers on Economic Activity, 1, 327–397. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boeri, T., Boersch-Supan, A., & Tabellini, G. (2001). Would you like to shrink the welfare state? The opinions of European citizens. Economic Policy, 32, 9–50. Google Scholar
  5. Boeri, T., Boersch-Supan, A., & Tabellini, G. (2002). Pension reforms and the opinion of European citizens American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings, 92(2), 396–401. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brennan, G., & Buchanan, J. (1984). Voter choice: evaluating political alternatives. American Behavioral Scientist, 28, 185–201. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Browning, E. K. (1975). Why the social insurance budget is too large in a democratic society. Economic Inquiry, 13, 373–388. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Downs, A. (1957). An economic theory of democracy. New York: Harper Collins. Google Scholar
  9. Gavazza, A., & Lizzeri, A. (2009). Review of economic studies. Vol.: 76. Transparency and economic policy (pp. 1023–1048). Oxford: Blackwell. Google Scholar
  10. Gerber, K., Karlan, D., & Bergan, D. (2009). Does the media matter? A field experiment measuring the effect of newspapers on voting behaviour and political opinions. American Economic Journal, 1(2), 35–52. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jappelli, T., Padula, A., & Bottazzi, R. (2003). Retirement expectations and pension reforms. CSEF Working Papers 92, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Salerno, Italy. Google Scholar
  12. Krieger, T. (2008). Public pensions and return migration. Public Choice, 134, 163–178. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Larcinese, V. (2007). Does political knowledge increase turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British general election. Public Choice, 134, 387–411. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leuven, E., & Sianesi, B. (2003). PSMATCH: Stata module to perform full Mahlanobi and propensity score matching, common support graphing and covariate imbalance testing. Available at: http://ideas.repec.org/c/boc/bocode/s432001.html.
  15. Louviere, J. J., Hensher, D., & Swait, J. (2000). Stated choice methods: analysis and application. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Martinelli, C. (2006). Would rational voters acquire costly information? Journal of Economic Theory, 129(1), 225–251. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mueller, D. C. (1989). Public choice II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  18. Puviani, A. (1897). Teoria della illusione nelle entrate publiche. Perugia: Unione Tipografico Cooperativa. Google Scholar
  19. Ratts, J., & Sorensen, R. (2004). Public employees as swing voters: empirical evidence on opposition to public sector reform. Public Choice, 119(3–4), 281–310. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sundén, A. (2003). How much people need to know about their pensions and what do they know? Mimeo. Google Scholar
  21. Tabellini, G. (2000). A positive theory of social security. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 102(3), 523–545. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wang, L., & Davis, O. (2003). Freedom and other variables in the choice of public pension systems. Public Choice, 114, 361–385. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Winter, S., & Mouritzen, E. (2001). Why people want something for nothing: the role of asymmetric illusion. European Journal of Political Research, 39, 109–143. Google Scholar
  24. Wooldridge, J. (2002). Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bocconi University and IGIERMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations