“With his Welfare in an Idle Society? Bernd Marin has set a ‘gold standard’.

Congratulations! Nobody who will give new thoughts to re-designing Social

Security can go past this encyclopaedic opus.”


Bert Rürup



“Bernd Marin’s monumental, erudite and radical reformulation of the management

of older age could not be more timely. Population ageing has already

underlined the inadequacy of traditional approaches; the current crisis puts

them under an even harsher light. Marin’s profound and detailed analysis

leads him to a new synthesis and new solutions which all specialists and

policymakers will need to be aware of.”


David Coleman



“An extraordinary book that fascinates by its depth of thought, relevance

and multidisciplinary approach. A must-read for anybody interested in pensions

… and highly readable for the broader audience.”


Robert Holzmann



“Bernd Marin’s new book is a likely instant classic and certainly a milestone

in the art of designing a pension system for ageing European societies …

Marin’s eloquently presented reform proposal seems unbeatable, economic

and political contexts permitting, as an efficient and equitable solution.

For both academics and policy practitioners, this makes for delightfully

enlightening reading.”


Claus Offe



“A most ambitious undertaking – covering the philosophy, implementation,

pitfalls and case studies of pension systems and disability insurance, with

particular attention to gender equality. Marin’s book illuminates these issues,

which take on added salience in an era of population ageing.”


Estelle James



“The intergenerational contract is challenged not only by the ageing of

populations, but also by the huge public debts inherited from the Great

Recession. This book greatly helps us understand how to reform social

security in order to make it sustainable. A great read.”


Tito Boeri



“Intellectually capacious, theoretically incisive, empirically rich and policy

relevant, this book puts Austria in a broad comparative perspective. A tour

de force.”


Peter J. Katzenstein



“Bernd Marin builds a passionate argument for the renewal of social

security in the twenty-first century on comprehensive documentation

and clear theoretical insight: a rare achievement that is certain

to revive and transform the weary discussion on the welfare state.”


Abram de Swaan



“Marin provides a brilliant analysis and covers new ideas about invalidity

pensions and women’s work and pensions. A book that should be read by

everybody who is interested in this topic.”


Friedrich Schneider



“A remarkable, fascinating book! Lots of ideas that take account of demography.

A must-read for anyone dealing with welfare and social security.”


Sergei Scherbov



“Marin’s book excels in important respects: given the urgent need for strategic

decisions, it is timely, comprehensive, courageous and written with

an eye on the underlying socio-political problems.”


Helmut Kramer



“This outstanding book is a great source for anybody interested in the

Welfare system and its implications for societies and individuals.”


Rocio Fernández-Ballesteros



“A monumental compendium, written with panache, vast horizon, and deep

commitment to fairness … an indispensable work of reference. This primer

should be required reading for all policy makers. Above all, the argument

for NDC is convincing.”


Gunther Tichy



“An impressive reference book on the need for welfare state restructuring …

Marin skilfully outlines the contours of a sustainable social policy system.

A unique strength of the volume is the attention paid to the complex gender

issues that underlie optimal pension design.”


Janet C. Gornick



“This comprehensive and interdisciplinary book discusses how ageing necessitates

a re-balancing of the welfare system that can provide sustainable

social security in the future. It is highly recommended reading for economists,

other social scientists and policy makers alike.”


Christian Keuschnigg



“That there is a looming pensions crisis in almost every advanced society is

widely known. But the details of the crisis and, even more, fair and sustainable

ways out of it, are hardly understood at all. In this bold and original

contribution Bernd Marin adds greatly to our understanding and thinks

deeply about likely solutions.”


Colin Crouch



“With admirable scope and thoroughness, this book identifies and addresses

the key economic and political issues of work and retirement in an employ

ment-oriented, equal-opportunity national welfare state embedded in the

global economy. This book is a must-read for welfare state scholars and



Edward Palmer



“This is an excellent overview of some of the most challenging problems

facing aging societies. The scope of the book is admirably broad and the

analysis is insightful.”


Dennis J. Snower



“An extremely well documented source book on the social and economic

conditions of the life course in contemporary society. Marin’s book helps

to invent solutions. It shows a way out of intellectual and political stagnation

to new concepts of social order and human fulfilment in a phase of

fundamental transitions.”


Leopold Rosenmayr



“This looks like an encyclopaedia on pensions, but in reality it is a tractatus

philosophicus on the future of our welfare society written by a globalized

humanist with a powerful thinking and writing.”


Karl Aiginger



“In this excellent book, Bernd Marin offers an in-depth analysis of welfare

sustainability … in a comprehensive comparative European framework of

political economy, sociological theory and empirical evidence.”


Andreas Kruse



“This book combines intensive in-depth analysis of leading examples of

countries responding to the challenge of an ageing society along with an

impressive sweep of conceptual and empirical analysis comparing countries

across the whole of Europe.”


Richard Rose



“A really comprehensive forward-looking study. Bernd Marin not only presents

a superb analysis but also entertains new ideas that offer unprecedented

possibilities, e.g. NDC. These require the modernization of institutions,

which makes rethinking of many concepts and methods developed in the

20th century inevitable. A great book.”


Marek Góra



Welfare in an Idle Society? defies the common opinion that pensions are

a highly technical and rather boring subject, and it challenges half-truths

about ‘acquired rights’, derived benefits for women and invalidity allowances.

The book is a powerful instrument in overcoming pension illiteracy

and effectively helping policy makers.”


Elsa Fornero



“Bernd Marin provides a thorough analysis of the welfare state and makes

interesting suggestions for reforms based on solutions beyond the traditional

boundaries of the welfare state and the unbridled free market.”


Ernst Fehr



“This major new contribution to the global debate on pensions should be

required reading for all scholars, students and policy makers interested in

the future of welfare and employment.”


Alan Walker



“Bernd Marin’s book proposes an alternative design and ‘new guiding principles’

for a ‘sustainable welfare society’. This should serve as a source of

aspiration to policy-makers. Far from current gloomy scenarios, the author

has shown that an innovative approach can be worked out for turning demographic

ageing into an opportunity for modernizing the European social

model … a major contribution.”


Anne-Marie Guillemard



“This much-needed comprehensive treatment of social security in ageing

societies bridges the deplorable gap between demographic forecasts, which

have for long pointed at the challenges, and specific policy changes, which

often lag badly behind. It is a big step forward.”


Wolfgang Lutz



“Bernd Marin’s new book offers a synthetic analysis of the need for public

policy reforms in ageing society, giving insights about how economic sustainability

can be mitigated with concerns about gender and health inequities.

He also shows how his reform agenda is of wider European relevance

– for those of us who are interested in balancing economic integration with

social objectives.”


Joakim Palme



“Anyone who is considering reforms to social security or disability insurance

systems should read Marin’s book.”


David Wise



“A formidable combination of factual mastery and intellectual imagination.

What Marin has done will renew the terms of the debate on pensions and

welfare for developed societies.”


Martin Kohli



“This book makes an essential contribution to re-thinking issues of health

and welfare at a time of fundamental demographic and occupational change.”


Anthony Giddens



“A milestone contribution to the urgent task of rethinking and redesigning

social security – from now on a standard reference.”


Stein Ringen




Endorsement Affiliations


Karl Aiginger, Director Emeritus of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research

(WIFO) and Professor of Economics at the Vienna University of Economics

and Business


Tito Boeri, Professor of Economics, Bocconi University, Milan, Director

of the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti, founder of the economic policy

watchdog website www.lavoce.info/ and Scientific Director of the Festival

of Economics in Trento


David Coleman, Professor of Demography, Fellow of St John’s College,

Oxford University


Colin Crouch, Professor of Government and Public Management, University

of Warwick, 1995–2004 Professor of Comparative Social Institutions

at the European University in Florence (EUI), 1985–1994 Professor of

Sociology at the University of Oxford


Abram de Swaan, Professor Emeritus of Social Science, University of

Amsterdam, winner of the 2008 P.C. Hooft Prize, the most prominent and

most cited Dutch sociologist of the 1990s


Ernst Fehr, Professor of Social Microeconomics and Experimental Economics,

University of Zürich, Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems

Research, recipient of many awards and distinctions, including the 2008

Marcel Benoit Prize, and named a Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate in

economics (http://science.thomsonreuters.com/nobel/)


Rocio Fernández-Ballesteros, Professor of Social Psychology and GeroPsychology,

Department of Biopsychology, Autonomous University of



Elsa Fornero, Professor of Social Economics, University of Torino, Director

of the Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies (CeRP), since

16 November 2011 Minister of Labour, Social Policy and Equal Opportunity

in the Cabinet of Mario Monti


Anthony Giddens, London School of Economics and Political Science

(LSE,) former Director of the LSE, and Professor of Sociology, University

of Cambridge, inventor of the “Third Way”


Marek Góra, Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics (SGH), coauthor

and team leader of the design for Polish pension reform, Director of

the Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for Social Security Reform


Janet C. Gornick, Professor of Political Science and Sociology, City University

of New York (CUNY), Director of the Luxembourg Income Study

Center, the CUNY Graduate Center


Anne-Marie Guillemard, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University

of Paris Descartes Sorbonne, honorary member of the Institut Universitaire

de France and of the Academia Europaea


Robert Holzmann, The World Bank and Professor of Old Age Protection

at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur


Estelle James, Professor Emeritus at SUNY, Stony Brook, former Lead

Economist at the World Bank, principal author of the classic 1994 World

Bank report Averting the Old Age Crisis, international consultant on pensions

and social security


Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International

Studies, Department of Government, Cornell University, 2008–09 President

of the American Political Science Association, ranked by the Economist as

the most influential scholar in international political economy


Christian Keuschnigg, Professor of Public Economics, University of

St Gallen and former Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Vienna

and Director of the WPZ, Vienna


Martin Kohli, Professor of Sociology at the European University Institute

(EUI), Florence since 2004, 1977-2004 Freie Universität Berlin, 1997-1999

President of the European Sociological Association


Helmut Kramer, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Austrian Interdisciplinary

Platform on Ageing (ÖPIA), Director of the Austrian Institute of

Economic Research (WIFO) 1981–2005, Rector of the Danube University

Krems 2005–07


Andreas Kruse, Professor of Social Gerontology, University Heidelberg,

since 1989 Member, since 1998 Chair of the German Federal Government’s

Gerontology Commission (Altenberichtskommission)


Wolfgang Lutz, Founding Director of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography

and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID, WU), Leader, World

Population Program (IIASA), Director, Vienna Institute of Demography

(VID), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Professor of Applied Statistics and

Director of Research Institute on Human Capital and Development (WU –

Vienna University of Economics and Business)


Claus Offe, Professor of Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance,

Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Sociology and Social Policy

at Bielefeld, Bremen and the Humboldt University, Berlin


Joakim Palme, Director of the Institute for Future Studies and Professor at

the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University and

Uppsala University, 1999–2001 Chair of the Swedish Welfare Commission


Ed Palmer, Professor of Insurance Economics at Uppsala University, Senior

Advisor of the Swedish Insurance Agency, architect of the Swedish NDC

pension reform model


Stein Ringen, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy and Fellow of

Green Templeton College, Oxford University


Richard Rose, Director of the Centre for the Study of Public Policy and

Professor of Politics at the University of Aberdeen, 1966–2005 Professor

of Politics at the University of Strathclyde


Leopold Rosenmayr, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Professor Emeritus

of Sociology and Social Philosophy at the University of Vienna, former

Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Social Gerontology and

Life Cycle Research, Vienna, doyen of research on family, youth and ageing


Bert Rürup, is President of the Handelsblatt Research Institute since 2013. From 2010 to 2015 he was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Institute for Economic Research (Vorsitzender des Kuratoriums DIW Berlin, Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung). Since the year 2000 he was a Member and 2005 to 2009 Chair of the German Council of Economic Experts (“die Wirtschaftsweisen”, Sachverstaendigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung). 2002–2003 he served as Head of the Commission for Sustainability in Financing Social Security (“Rürup Commission”) and of the Expert Commission for the Reorganization of Old Age Taxation, inventor of the “Rürup Pension” (Rürup-Rente), 1976–2009 Professor of Economic Policy and Public Finance at the Technical University of Darmstadt.

Sergei Scherbov, Research Group Leader Population Dynamics and Forecasting,

Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) at the Austrian Academy of

Sciences, Senior Scholar World Population Program, International Institute

of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, and Director of Demographic

Analysis, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human

Capital (IIASA, VID, WU)


Friedrich Schneider, Professor of Social Economics and Economic Policy,

Johannes Kepler University of Linz


Dennis J. Snower, President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy,

Professor of Economics, Chair of Economic Theory at the Christian-Albrechts-

University Kiel


Gunther Tichy, Consultant WIFO, 1992-2012 Austrian Academy of Sciences,

Professor Emeritus in Economics, University of Graz


Alan Walker, Professor of Social Policy and Social Gerontology, Director

of the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme, University of Sheffield


David A. Wise, John F. Stambough Professor of Political Economy, John F.

Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and National Bureau

of Economic Research (NBER)

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