February 10, 2016

Public Pensions and City Solvency

By: Susan M. Wachter
Public_Pensions_and_City_Solvency

Underfunded pension liabilities threaten the fiscal stability of many cities. While Detroit's bankruptcy has dominated the headlines, the problem is widespread. With ongoing battles in many localities, policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to the legacy issues surrounding the funding of pensions. Public Pensions and City Solvency addresses this complex fiscal challenge and presents strategies to achieve financial sustainability.

"Cities and states in America are facing fiscal stress in historic proportions. . . . This book will help the public to elect officials who deal with these issues responsibly so that our grandchildren are not burdened with the obligation to pay for the benefits our generation has been so fortunate to have enjoyed."—Richard Ravitch, from the Foreword

Writing in a direct, readable style for a professional as well as an academic audience, expert contributors provide incisive analyses and practical approaches to navigating the fiscal morass in which many cities find themselves. Richard Ravitch, former lieutenant governor of New York, writes the Foreword and Robert P. Inman and Susan M. Wachter provide the Conclusion. The book's three chapters examine the issue from different key perspectives: Joshua D. Rauh, a leading scholar in the study of unfunded pension liabilities, provides an economist's perspective; Amy B. Monahan, a renowned authority in public employee benefits law, illuminates the legal framework; and D. Roderick Kiewiet and Mathew D. McCubbins, visionary political scientists, put the crisis and its economic and legal implications into context and lay out the necessary framework for reform.

The problems that arise from underfunded public pensions are only going to escalate.Public Pensions and City Solvency is a unique resource for decision-makers, policy-makers, and researchers and a timely addition to the evolving debate over what constitutes sustainable solutions.

Contributors: Robert P. Inman, D. Roderick Kiewiet, Mathew D. McCubbins, Amy B. Monahan, Joshua D. Rauh, Richard Ravitch, Susan M. Wachter

Susan M. Wachter is the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance, The Wharton School; Professor of City and Regional Planning, School of Design; and Codirector, Penn Institute for Urban Research, at the University of Pennsylvania.

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