Research and Analysis by Jürg K. Siegenthaler

Poverty Among Single Elderly Women Under Different Systems of Old-Age Security: A Comparative Review
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 59, No. 3 (released July 1996)
by Jürg K. Siegenthaler

This study takes stock of available comparative research on the economic status of elderly single women in six industrialized countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. A systematic comparison of income has become easier due to such standardized data bases as the Luxembourg Income Study.

But an explanation for different poverty rates among older women who are on their own requires a further, differentiated assessment of the countries' retirement benefit structures. This article attempts such a review. It makes use of a variety of single-country sources and takes into account the institutional heterogeneity of old-age security systems. The study concludes with a view of the effectiveness of different old-age security systems in preventing poverty among older single women.