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Convergence Theory Reconsidered: The Politics of Pensions in Scandinavia and Australia

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Scandinavia and Australia share a similar sequence of pension-political developments. Starting out from means-tested minimum pensions, these countries have moved towards a dual mandatory pension structure in which the working population has access to compulsory second-tier schemes, while marginal groups are served through income-tested minimum benefits or pension supplements. However, different countries have chosen different organisational means to provide both minimum and second-tier pensions. The article accounts for pension-political developments in Scandinavia and Australia, and explains these developments by combining two traditions in the study of welfare politics which are often portrayed as dire opposites: convergence theory versus 'politics matter' theories.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1997

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