Michael Otsuka_BW

Michael Otsuka


Rutgers Uiversity

Michael Otsuka is D.Phil and BPhil., Balliol College, Oxford. B.A., Yale. His current research interests encompass the value and metaphysics of risks and chances of benefits; reciprocity and cooperation; risk-pooling, pensions, and insurance; property ownership and the nature of money; left-libertarianism versus social democracy and socialism; prioritarianism, egalitarianism, and the separateness of persons. Currently he is completing a book arising from his 2020 Oxford Uehiro Lectures, entitled How to Pool Risks across Generations: The Case for Collective Pensions (Oxford University Press, September 2023). He has previously taught at UCLA, University College London, and the London School of Economics.

(Autumn 2023)

As we enter the critical years of an ageing population, it is actually five minutes to midnight to reform the pension system if we want to ensure adequate pensions for current and future generations. The affordability of the pension system as it stands today is under pressure, and it seems as if the population, young and old, is not sufficiently aware of the consequences the status quo might have on their standard of living. There is also strong social resistance to pension reforms that are perceived as unbalanced.

In Belgium, as in other European countries, the debate on financing intergenerational solidarity has been going on for several decades, and a reasonably balanced proposal for pension reform was already drawn up by the Pension Reform Commission, which, however, remained dead letter.


For complex challenges an interdisciplinary synthesis can be more important and more relevant than technical and disciplinary expertise. Global problems require an international synthesis.

Joost Van Meerbeeck

Co-Chair LIAS/LIAS Foundation