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Early retirement in Europe


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Retirement behaviour has been the focus of attention of much microeconomic research in recent years. At the same time, most industrialized countries are struggling with reforming their retirement systems to counteract adverse demographic shocks. Early retirement is an important aspect both in explaining retirement behaviour and in forecasting the future of welfare systems. In particular, early retirement is related to an important policy puzzle: it may be optimal to increase the legal retirement age, however we do not know enough of the behavioural response of workers to policy changes and whether these would be effective measures to counteract future fiscal imbalances. Social security systems (and many private pension plans) in Europe have encouraged early exits. This paper reviews the empirical literature on early retirement, with particular reference to OECD countries. The basic message emerging from our work is that much could be learnt by having better quality data, in particular micro-level data that could be used to estimate behavioural responses having under control the many factors affecting retirement decisions, including institutional factors and allowing for full cross country comparability.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review.

Volume (Year): 9 (2001)
Issue (Month): 04 (October)
Pages: 501-515

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Handle: RePEc:cup:eurrev:v:9:y:2001:i:04:p:501-515_00

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Cited by:
  1. Richard Estes, 2004. "Development Challenges of the "New Europe"," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 69(2), pages 123-166, November.
  2. Christian Westermeier & Anika Rasner & Markus M. Grabka, 2012. "The Prospects of the Baby Boomers: Methodological Challenges in Projecting the Lives of an Aging Cohort," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 440, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Monika Riedel & Helmut Hofer, 2013. "Determinants of the Transition from Work into Retirement," NRN working papers 2013-10, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.


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