Skip navigation

Pierre Pestieau

Pierre Pestieau is Professor of Economics at the University of Liège. Pestieau is coauthor (with Robert Fenge) of Social Security and Early Retirement (MIT Press, 2005).

Titles by This Author

The contrasting trends toward earlier retirement and greater longevity have resulted in steadily increasing retirement costs over the last forty years. One important factor influencing early retirement decisions is the expansion of retirement benefits; but studies predict that most countries, particularly those with early retirement incentives, will be unable to meet future pension and social security obligations. In this timely CESifo volume, Robert Fenge and Pierre Pestieau examine empirical and theoretical evidence that explains why early retirement has become such a burden for social security systems and suggest pension system reforms that will reverse the trend.

Drawing on evidence from the European Union (with comparisons to other industrialized countries including the United States and Canada), the authors demonstrate that the effective retirement age is influenced by social security regulations (such as a change in eligibility age) and discuss ways of measuring these embedded incentives. Fenge and Pestieau examine the implicit taxes on prolonged working life from normative and political economy perspectives. They discuss optimal payroll tax rates that minimize distortions of labor supply and retirement decisions and consider alternative ways to finance benefits, including consumption and capital income taxation. They discuss why policies are designed to discourage employment among older workers and why reforms to counter this often meet resistance. They demonstrate, contrary to the belief of many European governments, that pushing older workers into retirement does not free jobs for young unemployed workers. They show that the gap between salaries and productivity is an incentive for employers to rid themselves of older workers and argue that governments should not support this behavior by compensating older workers for the difference between severance payments and salaries in early retirement programs.

Titles by This Editor

Demographic realities will soon force developed countries to find ways to pay for longer retirements for more people. In Pension Strategies in Europe and the United States, leading economists analyze topical issues in pension policy, with a focus on raising the retirement age, increasing retirement savings, and the political sustainability of reforms that will accomplish these goals. After a substantive and wide-ranging introduction by the editors that weaves together the demographic and economic strands of the story, the chapters present cutting-edge research, offering both theoretical and empirical analyses. Contributors examine such topics as the reform of key structural features of existing pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pension systems, analyzing how benefits should vary with the age of retirement, labor supply elasticity after France’s 1993 pension reform, and fiscal response to a demographic shock; the feasibility of PAYG reforms in the United States and the competition among state pension systems that results from labor mobility in Europe; and private, funded systems (increasingly perceived as necessary adjuncts to PAYG systems) in the UK, the US, and the Netherlands, and in terms of individual portfolio management. The editors conclude the volume with a study of recent German and UK reforms and their effects on personal savings.ContributorsTheodore C. Bergstrom, A. Lans Bovenberg, Antoine Bozio, Woojen Chung, Juan C. Conesa, Gabrielle Demange, Richard Disney, Carl Emmerson, Robert Fenge, Luisa Fuster, Carlos Garriga, Christian Gollier, John L. Hartman, Ayse Imrohoroglu, Selahattin Imrohoroglu, Thijs Knaap, Georges de Ménil, Pierre Pestieau, Eytan Sheshinski, Matthew WakefieldRobert Fenge is Senior Research Fellow at the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Munich. Georges de Ménil is Professor of Economics at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. Pierre Pestieau is Professor of Economics at the University of Liège. Fenge and Pestieau are coauthors of Social Security and Early Retirement (MIT Press, 2005).