Reciprocity across the life cycle
The welfare state plays a central role in managing risks and tackling vulnerability across the life-cycle. This entails particular relationships between individuals and between generations: for instance, under pay-as-you-go pension schemes, younger workers support the older generation through their contributions, with the prospect of benefitting from the scheme at a later stage in life; in funded schemes the mechanism is different but it remains the case that goods and services consumed by pensioners are produced by younger workers. The design and financing of welfare state institutions need to adjust to emerging social and economic changes, raising questions about the relationships that underpin those institutions. These issues raise both empirical questions relating to efficiency and equity, and normative questions about the justifications of different policy approaches. At least two themes emerge. First, such questions involve exploring the nature of reciprocity as a normative principle of social cooperation, with a particular focus on life-cycle dynamics. Secondly, the theme allows to tackle practical issues in specific policy areas - towards older people in the case of pensions and social care and towards younger people in the case of education, the provision of childcare, and child support - in relation to both their design and their financing, questioning the role individuals and the state can/should play.
Beveridge 2.0 Reciprocity across the life-cycle
Wednesday 23 February 2021