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The Diversity and Causality of Pension Reform Pathways: A Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis



Pension reform is one of the top public policy priorities in advanced industrialized countries due to population ageing and the significant weight of pension spending in governments’ budgets. As a result of these concerns European countries have engaged in varying degrees of pension reforms over the last three decades. The extant literature on pension reform focuses on structural, institutional and blame avoidance theories to explain how pension reform take place. Yet, how do different conditions combine to lead to significant pension reform outcomes? To answer this question we analyze a set of 48 pension reform cases in eight European countries since the late 1980s up until 2014 by using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). Our main finding is that institutional, structural or blame avoidance theories cannot account by themselves for instances of significant pension reform. Rather, we find three pathways that combine structural and institutional conditions to lead to significant pension reform.



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The Diversity and Causality of Pension Reform Pathways: A Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis



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