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Altruism and fairness in a public pension system

By E.C.M. van der Heijden, J.H.M. Nelissen and H.A.A. Verbon

Abstract

In this paper it is empirically investigated whether feelings of altruism towards members of other generations and senses of justice have an impact on the individual s evaluation of the public pension system. The data have been obtained from a large-scale survey carried out among a representative sample of the Dutch population in January 1994. The main topic of the questionnaire is the evaluation of changes in the pension system that have varying income effects for different generations. We find that young and middle-aged people indeed seem to be affected by feelings of altruism and fairness whereas the elderly appear to be non-altruistic.Altruism;Pensions;Ageing;social security

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