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Are Traditional Retirements a Thing of the Past? New Evidence on Retirement Patterns and Bridge Jobs

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  • Kevin E. Cahill
  • Michael D. Giandrea
  • Joseph F. Quinn

    ()
    (Boston College)

Abstract

This paper investigates whether permanent, one-time retirements are coming to an end just as the trend towards earlier and earlier retirements did nearly 20 years ago. We explore how common bridge jobs are among today's retirees, and how uncommon traditional retirements have become. Methods: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), we explore the work histories and retirement patterns of a cohort of retirees aged 51 to 61 in 1992 over a ten-year time period in both a cross-sectional and longitudinal context. Bridge job determinants are examined using bivariate comparisons and a multinomial logistic regression model of the bridge job decision. Results: We find that one-half to two-thirds of the HRS respondents with full-time career jobs take on bridge jobs before exiting the labor force completely. We also find that bridge job behavior is most common among younger respondents, respondents without defined-benefit pension plans, and respondents at the lower- and upper-end of the wage distribution. Implications: The evidence suggests that changes in the retirement income landscape since the 1980s appear to be taking root. Going forward, traditional retirements will be the exception rather than the rule.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 626.

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Date of creation: 29 Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:626

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Keywords: Economics of Aging; Partial Retirement; Gradual Retirement;

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  1. Samwick, Andrew A., 1998. "New evidence on pensions, social security, and the timing of retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 207-236, November.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Health Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," NBER Working Papers 4469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "Social Security Incentives for Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Themes in the Economics of Aging, pages 311-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
  5. Bridgitte C. Madrian, 1994. "The Effect of Health Insurance on Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(1), pages 181-152.
  6. Marjorie Honig & Giora Hanoch, 1985. "Partial Retirement as a Separate Mode of Retirement Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(1), pages 21-46.
  7. Jill Quadagno & Joseph Quinn, 1996. "Does Social Security Discourage Work?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 322., Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1995. "Secular Changes in the Work and Retirement Patterns of Older Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 362-385.
  9. Joseph F. Quinn & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Social Security on the Table," Pension Research Council Working Papers 96-3, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
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Cited by:
  1. Giorgio Brunello & Monica Langella, 2013. "Bridge jobs in Europe," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, December.
  2. David Neumark & Patrick Button, 2014. "Did Age Discrimination Protections Help Older Workers Weather the Great Recession?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(3), pages 566-601, 06.
  3. Diana Warren, 2008. "Retirement Expectations and Labour Force Transitions: The Experience of the Baby Boomer Generation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2008n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Maria Casanova, 2012. "Wage and Earnings Profiles at Older Ages," 2012 Meeting Papers 1166, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. David Warner & Mark Hayward & Melissa Hardy, 2010. "The Retirement Life Course in America at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(6), pages 893-919, December.
  6. Laura Turner & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2011. "Social Security, Endogenous Retirement, and Intrahousehold Cooperation," 2011 Meeting Papers 935, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Maria Casanova, 2012. "Wage and Earnings Profiles at Older Ages," Working Papers 2012-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  8. Bender, Keith A. & Mavromaras, Kostas G. & Theodossiou, Ioannis & Wei, Zhang, 2014. "The Effect of Wealth and Earned Income on the Decision to Retire: A Dynamic Probit Examination of Retirement," IZA Discussion Papers 7927, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. David Neumark, 2008. "The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Challenge of Population Aging," NBER Working Papers 14317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David Neumark & Joanne Song, 2012. "Barriers to Later Retirement: Increases in the Full Retirement Age, Age Discrimination, and the Physical Challenges of Work," Working Papers wp265, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

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