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The welfare of Sweden's old-age pensioners in times of bust and boom from 1990
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2009 (English)In: Ageing & Society, ISSN 0144-686X, E-ISSN 1469-1779, Vol. 29, no 4, 539-561 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analyses the development of the economic wellbeing of Swedes aged 65 years and older from 1990. This period was characterised by Sweden's deepest and most prolonged recession since the Great Depression, but was then followed by buoyant growth. In a series of interventions from 1991 through to 1998, pensions were cut and their full price indexation abandoned. In spite of these dramatic measures, this study shows that pensioners fared better than the working-age population, but also that poverty among older Swedes increased in absolute terms. During the following years of rapid economic growth, in contrast, the growth in pensioners' income fell behind that of workers and their relative poverty increased. The analysis shows that the limited resources of many older Swedes put them close to a Social poverty line. The study also shows that income inequality among older Swedes has grown with the increasing importance of capital income for the better off We conclude that the increasing gap between better-off and worse-off older people raises issues about the future provision of expenditures on public services for them. The paper concludes that, overall, poverty among older people in Sweden remains low by international standards and that the Swedish welfare state has maintained its resilience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 29, no 4, 539-561 p.
Keyword [en]
Sweden, welfare, pensions, income, poverty, income inequality, social security, old age
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-139722DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X08008167ISI: 000265886600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-139722DiVA: diva2:381931
Available from: 2010-12-29 Created: 2010-12-29 Last updated: 2010-12-29Bibliographically approved

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