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The Labour Supply Effect of the Abolition of the Earnings Rule for Older Workers in the United Kingdom

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Author Info

  • Richard Disney

    ()
    (University of Nottingham and IFS)

  • Sarah Smith

    (Financial Services Authority)

Abstract

High effective tax rates on work at and around state pension age deter participation. An example is the ‘earnings test’ operating in several OECD countries. The United States abolished its test for the 65+ age group in 2000. The United Kingdom offers a ‘natural experiment’ of this reform, as it abolished its test, known as the ‘earnings rule',in 1989. We examine the effect of this change, taking account of the opportunity to defer pension rights. Abolition of the rule raised working hours of older male workers by around 4 hours a week, with a lesser impact on women’s behaviour.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy) in its series CeRP Working Papers with number 17.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in The Economic Journal , Vol. 112, Issue 478, March 2002
Handle: RePEc:crp:wpaper:17

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Keywords: Labour supply; Retirement; Earnings Test;

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References

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  1. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
  2. Nada Eissa & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1998. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 6856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Zabalza, A. & Pissarides, C. & Barton, M., 1980. "Social security and the choice between full-time work, part-time work and retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 245-276, October.
  4. Leora Friedberg, 2000. "The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 48-63, February.
  5. Burtless, Gary & Moffitt, Robert A, 1985. "The Joint Choice of Retirement Age and Postretirement Hours of Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 209-36, April.
  6. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:fth:stanho:e-90-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Richard Blundell & Paul Johnson, 1999. "Pensions and Retirement in the United Kingdom," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 403-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1995. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," NBER Working Papers 5158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Michael D. Hurd, 1993. "The Effect of Labor Market Rigidities on the Labor Force Behavior of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 4462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard Blundell & Paul Johnson, 1997. "Pensions and Retirement in the UK," NBER Working Papers 6154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  13. Edward Whitehouse, 1990. "The abolition of the pensions 'earnings rule'," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 55-70, August.
  14. Jonathan Gruber & Peter Orszag, 2000. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?," NBER Working Papers 7923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Estimating Labor Supply Responses Using Tax Reforms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(4), pages 827-862, July.
  16. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1986. "A Structural Retirement Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 555-84, May.
  17. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  18. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "The Social Security Earnings Test and Labor Supply of Older Men," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 121-150 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Thomas MaCurdy & David Green & Harry Paarsch, 1990. "Assessing Empirical Approaches for Analyzing Taxes and Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(3), pages 415-490.
  20. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
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