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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Althaus, S. (1998). Information effects in collective preferences. American Political Science Review, 92(3), 545–558.
Bartels, L. (1996). Pooling disparate observations. American Journal of Political Science, 40, 905–942.
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.
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.
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.
Brennan, G., & Buchanan, J. (1984). Voter choice: evaluating political alternatives. American Behavioral Scientist, 28, 185–201.
Browning, E. K. (1975). Why the social insurance budget is too large in a democratic society. Economic Inquiry, 13, 373–388.
Downs, A. (1957). An economic theory of democracy. New York: Harper Collins.
Gavazza, A., & Lizzeri, A. (2009). Review of economic studies. Vol.: 76. Transparency and economic policy (pp. 1023–1048). Oxford: Blackwell.
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.
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.
Krieger, T. (2008). Public pensions and return migration. Public Choice, 134, 163–178.
Larcinese, V. (2007). Does political knowledge increase turnout? Evidence from the 1997 British general election. Public Choice, 134, 387–411.
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.
Louviere, J. J., Hensher, D., & Swait, J. (2000). Stated choice methods: analysis and application. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Martinelli, C. (2006). Would rational voters acquire costly information? Journal of Economic Theory, 129(1), 225–251.
Mueller, D. C. (1989). Public choice II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Puviani, A. (1897). Teoria della illusione nelle entrate publiche. Perugia: Unione Tipografico Cooperativa.
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.
Sundén, A. (2003). How much people need to know about their pensions and what do they know? Mimeo.
Tabellini, G. (2000). A positive theory of social security. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 102(3), 523–545.
Wang, L., & Davis, O. (2003). Freedom and other variables in the choice of public pension systems. Public Choice, 114, 361–385.
Winter, S., & Mouritzen, E. (2001). Why people want something for nothing: the role of asymmetric illusion. European Journal of Political Research, 39, 109–143.
Wooldridge, J. (2002). Econometric analysis of cross section and panel data. Cambridge: MIT Press.
About this article
Cite this article
Boeri, T., Tabellini, G. Does information increase political support for pension reform?. Public Choice 150, 327–362 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-010-9706-6
- Pension reform
- Policy opinions