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Title: The politics of the German pension-finance nexus
Author: Röper, Nils
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 4132
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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Over the last decades pension systems across the developed world have 'financialized.' This shift has meant that an increasing share of old age income is dependent on capital markets and managed by private financial service providers. This paper-based thesis revisits the central case of the (non)financialization of German pensions during the 1980s and 1990s. It advances an ideational institutionalist perspective on the pension-finance nexus, arguing that understanding these changes requires attention to ideas and discourse alongside traditional material and institutional incentives. The analyses in the three papers focus on the preferences and strategies pursued by segments of capital, with a particular emphasis on the three main factions of finance: banks, insurers and investment companies. The first paper is concerned with the genesis of German financial liberalization. It finds that the marginal build-up of finance capitalism was followed by a rapidly emerging tipping point of dominance that disparately affected sub-spheres of the financial system. The second paper examines the political battle over pension funds and shows that certain segments of both finance and business were powerful antagonists of pension financialization. The third paper probes into the origins of German policy ideas, including pension funds. It reveals that foreign pension ideas did not have a substantive impact on the crafting of pension policy innovations, but played a crucial role as framing devices. The analyses apply process tracing techniques and draw on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, including parliamentary debates, newspaper archives, TV recordings and expert interviews. Collectively, the three papers show that actors at the pension-finance nexus undergo complex preference formations, have diverging interests and pursue these with adaptive political strategies. The theoretical perspectives developed and evidence uncovered contribute to efforts to disentangle how financialization may (or may not) make its way through different pockets of political economies.
Supervisor: Gingrich, Jane ; Rueda, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available