A 29-country snapshot. Population aging wide across the OECD has led to a renewed popular and theoretical interest in the notion of justice between generations. But efforts to measure intergenerational justice empirically have lagged behind. How can we improve policies when we do not know the state of affairs in terms of intergenerational justice in practice? At the request of the Bertelsmann Stiftung in Germany, I have developed a simple four-dimensional snapshot indicator to improve the cognitive toolkit of academics, journalists and policymakers: the Intergenerational Justice Index, or IJI. The aim is pragmatic and empirical: to compare intergenerational justice in practice across OECD member states. Continue reading
Do more older voters really lead to more pensioner power? Most rich democracies today are faced with significant population aging, as a combined result of longer life spans and lower fertility rates. Many now fear that elderly voters are becoming an immensely powerful political pressure group. After all, aging populations do not just entail more elderly people who are eligible to vote. These elderly electors also tend to actually go voting more often than younger voters. A number of ‘elderly power’ theorists therefore suggest that population aging pressurizes politicians into providing ever higher pensions and other pro-elderly policies – a claim that is often mistaken.