AbstractGenerous early retirement provisions account for a large proportion of the drop in the labor force participation of elderly workers. The aim of this paper is to provide a positive theory of early retirement. We suggest that the political support for generous early retirement provisions relies on: (i) the existence of a significant group of elderly workers with incomplete working history, who are not entitled to an old age pension; and (ii) the intragenerational redistribution built in this provision via the utility from leisure that induces low-ability workers to retire early. The majority which supports early retirement in a bidimensional voting game is composed of elderly with incomplete working history and low-ability workers; social security is supported by retirees and low-ability workers.
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