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Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction

Frontmatter

Social Security at the Crossroads

Abstract
Social security is a basic element of advanced human societies. As far back as to the antiquity we find social relief for those who had undergone a heavy stroke of fate. For instance, in Greece disabled ex-soldiers and their survivors received a pension (since Peisistratos, 560 b.c.), unemployed and invalid people got clothes, food and financial relief, and poor sick people were treated by poor-relief physicians. First, in Greece and later on in the Roman Empire associations were founded to cover the health care and funeral expenses of their members. In the Roman Empire those sick funds (collegia tenuiorum) and burial funds (collegia funeraticia) needed a state licence amd were controlled by state supervision.
J.-Matthias Graf von der Schulenburg

Social Security and Public Decision Processes

Frontmatter

The Influence of Political Institutions on Social Security Policies: A Public Choice View

Abstract
In recent years a heated debate has been taking place (and is still going on) whether the development of social (security) policies influences the general economic growth in a positive or negative way. Whereas Korpi (1985) finds a positive relationship and Rothschild (1982, 580) concludes, “that there are at the present no signs that Welfare State activities have by themselves net harmful effects on economic efficiency or economic growth”, Bernholz (1982, 584) asks, “can modern Western democracies survive with an expanding system of social welfare?” In his latest study (1985) Bernholz is quite sceptical in his answer, where he is in line with most other studies. They all reach more or less the same conclusion that, due to the rapid increase of social expenditures after the Second World War, welfare state activities have at least reached an absolute maxium or have even passed their limits so that the negative consequences (e.g. like rising disincentives to work, a low savings rate, increasing shadow activities), outbalance the benefits1. That social expenditures have increased quite drastically over the last 25 years in most Western democracies (see Table 1) should impress any observer. But to conclude from these developments that one should simply reduce state activities and the negative consequences will diminish may be quite misleading2. Before suggestions are proposed, e.g. to cut drastically social expenditures, it should be considered that “social policy has become an essential element in the political economy of all modern industrial states” (Rothschild 1982, 579). Therefore, first a positive analysis of the political institutions should be made in which social policies take place and which set the frame where the most important actors (voters/taxpayers, government, interest groups) operate3. When we know how voters/taxpayers and important interest groups will react to government policy proposals, we are able to evaluate how successful changes in social policies can be achieved.
Friedrich Schneider

Public Pensions and Political Decision-Making

Abstract
In a parliamentary democracy, the introduction of a public pension, such as the AOW in the Netherlands, requires a two-fold parliamentary decision: one on the benefit level, and one on the financing system. These include the problem to what extent an intertemporal redistribution within generations should be established. From the start of the pension scheme in the Netherlands in 1956 a uniform benefit level was chosen, together with a — up to a certain maximum income level — premium proportional to income to be paid by those employed. The pension scheme is of the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) kind and allows an intertemporal redistribution of income.1
H. A. A. Verbon, Frans A. A. M. van Winden

Intergeneration Solutions to the Social Security Dilemma

Abstract
The contemporary discussion of state-run social security plans follows two paths. The first one is characterized by the search for a social insurance scheme which might be feasable, at least under minor revisions, for future periods up to the middle of the next century. For example, Lawrence Thompson (1983, 1432) presents projections on the ratios of “covered workers per OASDI beneficiary” for the year 2060. Various formulas have been analyzed in theoretical and empirical models in order to test whether the corresponding insurance scheme is feasible under alternative short-term economic fluctuations, alternative growth rates of the economy and the population and long-term Kontratieff and Esterlin cycles. By feasibility is meant that, on the one hand, the pensioners receive a per capita income which allows them to have a “decent” eve of their lives, and on the other hand, the working population is left with a “reasonable” net income after paying the premiums into the social insurance budget.
Manfred J. Holler

Demographic Aspects of Social Insurance Schemes

Frontmatter

Social Security and Intergenerational Equity

Abstract
Compulsory old-age insurance can be organized in two ways. Like a private insurance contract capital can be accumulated in a life-cycle savings process. The logical opposite is the pay-as-you-go-system, where today’s contributions are used to pay today’s pension without any funding. Capital accumulation seems to be the more trustworthy system, at least on the first glance. In 1889 the German social security system was installed with the explicit will to act according to the principles of an actuary firm. It, however, never suceeded to accumulate more than a marginal share of the necessary capital stock1. Other countries underwent similar experiences. All in all there is not one country in the world where such a system has ever worked successfully.
Reiner Dinkel

Intergenerational Equity and Fund Balances for Statutory Health Insurance

Abstract
In 1881, the German Emperor Wilhelm I gave an address to the Reichstag to initiate a statutory health insurance program. Two years later, the first national social insurance program came into being with the commencement of the Health Insurance Act. All blue collar workers had to join one of the numerous local sickness funds that covered the costs of ambulatory and hospital care. The expenditure of each sickness fund was to be financed by wage-dependent contributions of the employers and the employees. In subsequent years, the statutory health insurance (SHI) was extended so that today more than 90% of the German population are covered by about 1200 sickness funds.1
Paul R. Kleindorfer, J.-Matthias Graf v. d. Schulenburg

Improvements in State Pension Rights for Women

Abstract
Under the State National Insurance scheme of the United Kingdom, changes have been instituted in the entitlement of married women to retirement benefit. These changes are intended to make married women more dependent on the benefits earned by their own contributions and less dependent on the contribution record of their husband.
Steven Haberman

Statutory Health Insurance and its Reform

Frontmatter

Innovation in Health Insurance: Bonus Systems in Western Germany

Abstract
This paper is an outgrowth of an ongoing investigation into the impact of bonus options in health insurance on the utilization and cost of medical services. At the final stage, the comparative analysis will be based on individual data coming from three West German private health insurers and covering about 150,000 individuals during at least three years.
Otto Waser, Peter Zweifel

Determinants of the Utilization of Physician Services in the System of Statutory Health Insurance in Germany

Abstract
Total expenditures of the statutory health insurance funds (GKV) in West-Germany have been a subject of much political concern throughout the last decade — both because of their size and their rate of growth. The share of health care expenditures in gross national product has risen dramatically, and payroll contributions to the sickness funds consume an ever growing percentage of gross incomes of the vast majority of employed persons who are members of the GKV system.
Friedrich Breyer, Holger Mühlenkamp, Hans Adam

Erratum to: Intergeneration Solutions to the Social Security Dilemma

Erratum to: Intergeneration Solutions to the Social Security Dilemma

Without Abstract
J.-Matthias Graf von der Schulenburg

Backmatter

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