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Disability and Social Security Reforms: The French Case

Auteur : Behaghel Luc, Blanchet Didier, Debrand Thierry ...[et al.]
Année de Publication : 2011
Type : Actes de congrès / Séminaire / Atelier
Thème : Travail et Emploi
Couverture : France

Résumé/Sommaire :

The French pattern of early transitions out of employment is basically explained by the young age at “normal” retirement and by the importance of transitions through unemployment insurance and early-retirement schemes before access to normal retirement. These routes have prevented French workers from significantly relying on disability incentives for early exits, contrary to situations that prevail in some other countries where normal ages are high, unemployment benefits are low and early-retirement schemes are almost non-existent. Yet, the role of disability remains an interesting topic of investigation in France, at least given the prospective reasons in a context of decreasing generosity of other programs.

A study of the past reforms of the pension system has shown that disability routes have often acted as a substitute for other retirement routes. Changes in the claiming of invalidity benefits seem to match changes in pension schemes or controls more than changes in health indicators, such as mortality rates. However, our results suggest that increases in average health levels over the past two decades have occurred along with increased disparities. In that context, less generous pensions may induce an increase in invalidity benefits claims not only because of substitution effects but also because of increases in the proportion of people with poor health.

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