chapter  8
19 Pages

Pension reforms in Italy and the US: Policy change through political and institutionalized policy ‘gates’


Pensions are often characterized as immovable objects. While a series of pressures (population ageing, budgetary strains, new social risks, etc.) have shaken the retirement programmes created and developed in the twentieth century, policy change has proved particularly difficult. To succeed, reform proposals must accommodate or bypass a host of institutional veto points and opposing vested interests. The expected consequence is thus policy stability, with occasional incremental change, but also many examples of failure (Natali and Rhodes, 2007).