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Union Structures and Pension Outcomes in Greece

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Abstract

Even though Greek pensions are particularly unsustainable and inequitable, recent attempts at significant reform have ended in failure, mostly because of union opposition. The article draws on research into the competing role of narrow versus encompassing interests, in order to analyse union policy on pensions in the light of membership composition. It finds evidence of a severe bias of representation in terms of gender, age/cohort, ethnic origin and, in particular, social insurance affiliation and sector of the economy. It concludes that when legitimate interests are imperfectly represented, negotiated reform will tend to reproduce the inegalitarian tendencies latent in Bismarckian pension systems.

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