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Aging and Labor Force Participation: A Review of Trends and Explanations

In: Aging in the United States and Japan: Economic Trends

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Author Info

  • Robin L. Lumsdaine
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

The American population is aging rapidly. Persons 65 and over who now constitute about one-fifth of the population will constitute about two-fifths of the population by 2040. In addition, individuals are living longer. Yet the labor force participation of older Americans has fallen dramatically in recent years. This paper discusses this trend and the principal arguments put forth to explain it. The paper is in two parts. The first part reviews trends in labor force participation and associated trends in Social Security (SS) coverage, firm pension plan coverage, and other factors that are likely to be associated with the labor force participation trends, including demographics. The second part of the paper discusses the incentive effects of SS and retirement plans, with emphasis on firm pension plans.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in:

  • Yukio Noguchi & David A. Wise, 1994. "Aging in the United States and Japan: Economic Trends," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number nogu94-1.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8040.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8040

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    References

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    1. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-80, September.
    2. John Rust, 1987. "A Dynamic Programming Model of Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 2470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Alan S. Blinder & Roger H. Gordon & Donald E. Wise, 1980. "Reconsidering the Work Disincentive Effects of Social Security," NBER Working Papers 0562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Burtless, Gary, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805, October.
    5. Barry J. Nalebuff & Richard J. Zeckhauser, 1985. "Pensions and the Retirement Decision," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 283-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1988. "Why Do Pensions Reduce Mobility?," NBER Working Papers 2509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1986. "A Structural Retirement Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 555-84, May.
    8. Jeremy I. Bulow, 1981. "Early Retirement Pension Benefits," NBER Working Papers 0654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Burtless, Gary & Hausman, Jerry, 1982. "`Double dipping': the combined effects of social security and civil service pensions on employee retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 139-159, July.
    10. Edward P. Lazear, 1983. "Pensions as Severance Pay," NBER Chapters, in: Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System, pages 57-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Douglas W. Phillips & David A. Wise, 1987. "Military versus Civilian Pay: A Descriptive Discussion," NBER Chapters, in: Public Sector Payrolls, pages 19-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1980. "The early acceptance of social security: An asset maximization approach," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 484-492, July.
    13. David T. Ellwood, 1985. "Pensions and the Labor Market: A Starting Point (The Mouse Can Roar)," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 19-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
    15. Jeanne M. Hogarth, 1988. "Accepting an Early Retirement Bonus an Empirical Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(1), pages 21-33.
    16. Howard L. Frant & Herman B. Leonard, 1987. "Promise Them Anything: The Incentive Structures of Local Public Pension Plans," NBER Chapters, in: Public Sector Payrolls, pages 215-242 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Security, Health Status, and Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1987. "The Incentive Effects of Private Pension Plans," NBER Working Papers 1510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Edward P. Lazear & Robert L. Moore, 1988. "Pensions and Turnover," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions in the U.S. Economy, pages 163-190 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1985. "Labor Compensation and the Structure of Private Pension Plans: Evidence for Contractual versus Spot Labor Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 55-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1983. "Influencing retirement behavior: A key issue for social security," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 3(1), pages 1-13.
    22. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1980. "Discontinuous Budget Constraints and Estimation: The Demand for Housing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 75-96, January.
    23. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1979. "The Pension Acceptance Decision of Older Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-75.
    24. repec:fth:stanho:e-88-29 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Lawrence Summers & Chris Carroll, 1987. "Why Is U.S. National Saving So Low?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(2), pages 607-642.
    26. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
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