How partisan politics influence government policies in response to ageing populations

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Yesola Kweon Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea

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Kohei Suzuki Leiden University, the Netherlands

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Since old-age programmes mitigate life-course risks that are relevant to individuals across socio-economic groups in ageing societies, all parties have a political incentive to support these initiatives. Nevertheless, pre-existing partisan commitments bind the policy instruments that parties use. Cabinet-level analyses of OECD economies demonstrate that left incumbency relies more on public expenditure than right-wing governments. What is more important is that, in the context of large elderly populations, pension coverage is greater under right-leaning governments, while pension replacement rates are higher in left-leaning governments. This shows that party behaviour related to life course-related policies cannot be explained by the conventional pro-expansion versus the pro-retrenchment partisan politics. Rather, a focus on partisan variation in the use of policy instruments is required.

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Yesola Kweon Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea

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Kohei Suzuki Leiden University, the Netherlands

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