A new OSE opinion paper from the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research in Vienna

Intergenerational Justice and Public Policy in Europe

by Pieter Vanhuysse

European Social Observatory (OSE) Paper Series, Opinion Paper No. 16, 2014, 17 pp.

In this short essay, Pieter Vanhuysse summarizes European findings from his Bertelsmann Stiftung report developing a simple four-dimensional snapshot index of intergenerational justice in the OECD. He highlights the fact that EU member states occupied 8 of the 9 highest positions on the pro-elderly bias of welfare spending, with Poland in pole position, followed by Southern and Eastern European countries, and Austria. A new section entitled ‘The Special Trouble with Central Europe’ argues that adverse labor market, lifestyle and social policy cultures in the past two decades, combined with faster population aging in the next two decades, add up to a bleak ’generational politics’ picture for Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia. The essay briefly discusses policy options for boosting intergenerational equity, ranging from the obvious (early childhood investment) to the radical (proxy votes for children).

OSE opinion paper: papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2416916

Bertelsmann report: papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2309278