Robert Holzmann, professor of economics, returned in March 2011 to Austria after a distinguished career in international organizations and academia. He now holds honory positions at the Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, University of New South Wales (Sydney) and the Social Security Research Center, University of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur), is elected Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Science (Vienna), and Research Fellow at IZA (Bonn) and Cesifo (Munich), and he researches, teaches and consults internationally on pensions, financial literacy/capability, labor and migration issues. Before his return he was the Research Director of the Labor Mobility Program (Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration) and Senior Advisor of the Financial Literacy & Education Program (Russia Trust Fund) of the World Bank. From 1997 to 2009 he was Sector Director and Head of the Social Protection & Labor Department leading, inter alia, the strategic and conceptual work on pensions and labor at the World Bank. Before joining the Bank he was professor of economics and the director to the European Institute at the University of Saarland, Germany (1992-97), and before professor of economics at the University of Vienna, Austria. He was also Visiting Professor at various universities in Japan, Chile and Austria, and lectured at Harvard University (USA) and Oxford University (UK). As principal administrator at the OECD (1985-87), he wrote a comprehensive report on public pension reform in industrialized countries. As senior economist at the IMF (1988-1990), he was heavily involved in fiscal and social security issues during the initial transition from plan to market in Central and Eastern Europe. His research and operational involvement extends to all regions of the world, and he has published 36 books and over 150 articles on social, fiscal and financial policy issues. He traveled to over 90 countries.
He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2003 and created with Klaus Zimmermann in 2006 the Programm on "Employment and Development".



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11193

Strong and rising empirical evidence across countries finds that longevity is highly heterogeneous in key socioeconomic characteristics, including income. A positive relationship between lifetime income and life expectancy at retirement amounts to a straight tax/subsidy mechanism when the average cohort life expectancy is applied for annuity calculation, as done under...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10378
published in: Journal of Finance and Economics, 2017, 6(10):1-21

This paper demonstrates that the link between heterogeneity in longevity and lifetime income across countries is mostly high and often increasing; that it translates into an implicit tax/subsidy, with rates reaching 20 percent and higher in some countries; that such rates risk perverting redistributive objectives of pension schemes and distorting...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10060
published in: Global Journal of Human Social Sciences-Economics, 2017, Volume 17, Issue 1: 33-58

Heterogeneity in longevity between socioeconomic groups is increasingly documented for developed economies and is reviewed in the paper. Heterogeneity in life expectancy disaggregated by main socioeconomic characteristics – such as age, gender, race, health, education, profession, income, and wealth – is sizable and has not declined in recent decades. The...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7571
published in: Malaysian Journal of Economic Studies 2013 50 (2): 107-137. Updated and revised Chinese translation in 劳动经济研究 (Studies in Labor Economics, Vol. 2, No. 4, 2014: 21-52, Chinese Academy of Social Science)

Population aging is typically associated with economic challenges for productivity and financial threats for the old-age financial protection system of a country. This paper takes an optimistic position and outlines key ingredients to make it a successful experience. Yet to turn this challenge into an opportunity requires a significant change...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6800
published in: International Social Security Review 2013, 66(2): 1-29

Across the world, pension systems and their reforms are in a constant state of flux driven by shifting objectives, moving reform needs, and a changing enabling environment. The ongoing worldwide financial crisis and the adjustment to an uncertain “new normal” will make future pension systems different from past ones. The...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5731
published in: Robert Holzmann and Milan Vodopivec (eds), Reforming Severance Pay: An International Perspective,Washington, D.C.: The World Bank., 2012

The paper examines severance pay programs around the world by providing the first ever overview of existing programs, examining their historic development, assessing their economic rationale and describing current reform attempts. While a significant part of the paper is devoted to a comprehensive 183 cross country review of existing severance...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5715
published in: CESifo Economic Studies, 2014

Portability of social benefits across professions and countries is an increasing concern for individuals and policy makers. Lacking or incomplete transfers of acquired social rights are feared to negatively impact individual labor market decisions as well as capacity to address social risks with consequences for economic and social outcomes. The...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5296
published in: Edward Palmer, Robert Holzmann and David Robalino, Nonfinancial Defined Contribution Pension Schemes in a Changing Pension World: Volume 2, Gender, Politics, and Financial Stability, World Bank, 2013, 277-304

The paper provides a framework for the conceptualization, definition and estimation of legacy costs that need to be addressed in a reform that transforms an unfunded defined contribution (NDB) scheme into a notional (or non-financial) defined contribution (NDC) scheme. As the new contribution rate is fixed and, perhaps, reduced, paying...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5114

This paper presents a World Bank led and Russia trust fund financed work program to measure financial capability and the effectiveness of financial education in low and middle income countries. The two activities and their staging have been motivated by the lessons of high-income countries with financial literacy programs and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1885

The paper investigates the demographic alternatives for dealing with the projected population aging and low or negative growth of the population and labor force in the North. Without further immigration, the total labor force in Europe and Russia, the high-income countries of East Asia and the Pacific, China, and, to...