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Scheubel, Beatrice; Schunk, Daniel; Winter, Joachim (2013): Strategic Responses: A Survey Experiment on Opposition to Pension Reforms*. In: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 115, No. 2: pp. 549-574
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The responses given in opinion polls on future policy reforms reflect both subjective expectations and preferences. We disentangle these factors using data from a controlled survey experiment conducted in Germany. At the time of the experiment, an increased retirement age had been proposed as part of a pension reform. Thus, the survey respondents faced an incentive to give biased responses. By understating their expected work ability at the age of retirement, they could make the increase of the retirement age a less attractive policy option. We find evidence for such strategic response behavior, and this strategic bias appears to be stronger in former communist East Germany.