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Political Economics. Redistributive Policies (2018)


Last change 28/06/2018

Structural Reforms (07/2006)

Galasso Vincenzo
Edited by Tito Boeri, Micael Castanheira, Riccardo Faini and Vincenzo Galasso

Structural Reforms Without Prejudices
Edited by Tito Boeri, Micael Castanheira, Riccardo Faini and Vincenzo Galasso

DescriptionOur economies face constant challenges from many different directions. Structural reforms are implemented every day, either to grasp the benefits of globalization and technological change, or to avoid foundering on unaffordable welfare systems or the rise of new economies.

Despite this flurry of reforms, many of their effects are insufficiently understood. What makes reforms a success or a failure? Why do we witness systematically ambivalent attitudes to reforms? Can governments implement reforms differently, without inflicting prejudice to large fringes of the population?

This book explores these issues by comparing a number of reforms, across a large set of countries and sectors. First, through an innovative multisectorial input-output analysis, the authors compare the effects of liberalisation reforms in the telecommunication and electricity sectors across Europe. Surprisingly, they find that very similar and well-intended reforms can generate highly contrasted outcomes. It is also shown that governments must consider the effects of each reform on all sectors of the economy. Second, the authors explore how governments can tailor their reform strategy to alter the redistributive effects of reforms. They show that the government's approach to reforms has been very different across time and across countries. A government's approach depends on local institutions, on the nature of the opposition, and on the scope of the reform under way. The authors, however, show that governments do have alternatives. Often, there are ways to tailor reforms so as to protect specific parts of the population; and there are ways to experiment gradually, to avoid costly policy mistakes.
Link for the book

Last change 11/02/2009

Pension Systems (12/2006)

Galasso Vincenzo
The MIT Press



The Political Future of Social Security in Ageing Societies, The MIT Press 
          Winner of the "Outstanding Academic Title" award, as featured in
          Choice Magazine  January 2007 issue

Read about this book: 


Doubts about the ability of industrialized countries to continue to provide a sufficient level of retirement benefits to a growing number of retirees has fueled much recent debate and inspired a variety of recommendations for reform. Few major reforms, however, have actually been implemented. In The Political Future of Social Security in Aging Societies, Vincenzo Galasso argues that the success of any reform proposals depends on political factors rather than economic theory. He offers a comparative analysis of the future political sustainability of social security in six countries with rapidly aging populations--France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Using a quantitative approach, he finds that an aging population has political as well as economic effects: an older electorate will put pressure on politicians and policy-makers to maintain or even increase benefits.
Galasso evaluates how each country's different political constraints shape its social security system, considering such country-specific factors as the proportion of retirees in the population, the redistributive feature of each system, and the existing retirement policy in each country. He concludes that an aging population will lead to more pension spending; yet postponing retirement mitigates the impact of this, and may be the only politically viable alternative for social security reform.

Table of Contents 



There is a large literature dealing with the expected evolution of pensions, relying mostly on demographic and economic forecasts. The originality of Vincenzo Galasso's book is to argue convincingly that the future of social security and the success of long-overdue reforms depend largely on political factors. He reminds us that a successful reform must be not only economically sound but politically sustainable. This book is essential for anyone concerned with social security, pensions, and the possibility of reform."
--Pierre Pestieau, University of Liège

"Vincenzo Galasso has written a penetrating and thoughtful book on a topic of undeniable importance. Most studies of the future of social security focus on the burden that changing demographics place on the fiscal viability of social security systems. Galasso's analysis carries the argument to the logical next step by studying the impact of a graying population on the political support for social security reforms."
--Thomas Cooley, Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics, New York University

Last change 11/02/2009

Contro i giovani
Galasso Vincenzo, Boeri Tito



L’Italia è certo il paese occidentale più protettivo nei confronti dei propri figli.

Ma se è vero che pensiamo molto ai nostri figli e lottiamo per assicurare loro un buon futuro, tuttavia non pensiamo per nulla ai figli degli altri, vale a dire ai giovani in quanto tali. Questa combinazione di altruismo privato e di egoismo pubblico è diventata un freno molto forte alla crescita del paese e rappresenta una pesante ipoteca sul nostro futuro. E infatti l’Italia, messa a confronto con i suoi concorrenti europei, mostra di aver già iniziato a perdere slancio.

La recensione di Gian Antonio Stella 

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Last change 16/01/2009

Last updated January 16, 2009