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Conference Paper European Consortium for Political Research Conference, 6-8 September 2007, Pisa, Italy

Demands for welfare state provisions by a powerful generation: comparing British and German baby-boomers


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The baby-boomers, a large cohort born between about 1946 and 1972, are the next generation of pensioners in many European democracies and will have fully replaced the current pensioner generation within the next 30 years. Thus, they will soon start moving from contributing to receiving from the welfare state. To what extent do the baby-boomers have different expectations from the welfare state than previous generations? I apply various regression techniques to West German and British data, namely a series of cross-sectional international surveys, the International Social Survey Programme Role of Government I-III from 1985, 1990 and 1996, and the British Household Panel Study (1991 - 2004). The main finding is that baby-boomers are hardly different from earlier generations as to their expectations from the major areas of re-distributive welfare policy (health, unemployment, education, pensions). It is a myth that the baby-boomers have a different stance towards the state and its welfare objectives than earlier generations. Thus, political reformers do not have to treat preferences of the baby-boomers differently than those of earlier pensioner generations.


Older People, Welfare Benefits, and Social Policy


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