Heinemann, Friedrich Hennighausen, Tanja Moessinger, Marc-Daniel
Year of Publication:
ZEW Discussion Papers 11-045
Although demographic change leaves pay-as-you-go pension systems unsustainable, reforms, such as a higher pension age, are highly unpopular. This contribution looks into the role of intrinsic motivation as a driver for pension reform acceptance. Theoretical reasoning suggests that this driver should be relevant: The choice among different pension reform options (increasing pension age, increasing contributions, cutting pensions) can be analyzed within the framework of an optimal job separation decision. In this optimization, intrinsic job satisfaction matters as it decreases the subjective costs of a higher pension age. We test this key hypothesis on the basis of the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS). The results are unambiguous: In addition to factors such as age or education, the inclusion of intrinsic work motivation helps to improve our prediction of an individual's reform orientation. Our results are of importance for reform acceptance beyond the specific topic of pension reform. They point to the fact that the support for welfare state reform is also decided at the workplace.