Means testing and retirement choices in Europe: a comparison of the British and Danish systems

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2005


We develop a simulation model of household behaviour in which both the consumption/saving and labour/leisure choices are endogenous. This model is used to explore the effects of the UK and Danish state tax and benefit systems on the labour supply of workers aged 50 or over. We find that, in broad terms, differences in labour force participation can be accounted for by differences in benefit structures. Furthermore, our simulations suggest that the UK system is preferred by young people while the Danish arrangement - which imposes a larger tax burden and provides larger welfare benefits - is chosen by people of 50 or older. Notably, people older than 60 are in the majority in the simulated population. The Danish system does not promote notably greater equality over the lifetime, but it does underpin a higher level of consumption for people of 50 or older.

Published in

Fiscal Studies


Volume: 26 (1):83-118



Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest