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Pro-Work Policy Proposals for Older Americans in the 21st Century


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  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Joseph F. Quinn


Reports that the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted sometime in the early part of the next century reinforce the need to make retirement policy in the United States more accommodating for those who want to work. While there is general agreement that disincentives to work at older ages in both Social Security and employer pension plans played an important role in the dramatic drop in retirement age from 1945 through 1985, skepticism exists over the ability of policy changes to both stop this trend and increase work at older ages. In this policy brief we summarize how government policy has influenced retirement since the end of World War II, show that reductions in some of the anti-work aspects of our retirement system in the 1980s appear to have ended the trend toward earlier and earlier retirement, and offer five pro-work policies which would increase work for twenty-first century older Americans.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs with number 9.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Nov 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:max:cprpbr:9

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  1. Joseph F Quinn & Scott A Bass & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1993. "Towards Pro-Work Policies And Programs For Older Americans," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 264, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1993. "Plans And Preferences Of Older American Workers," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 229, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Richard V. Burkhauser & J.S. Butler & Yang-Woo Kim, 1996. "The timing of disability insurance application: a choice-based semiparametric hazard model," Working Papers 1996-005, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J. S. & Kim, Yang Woo, 1995. "The importance of employer accommodation on the job duration of workers with disabilities: A hazard model approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 109-130, June.
  5. Joseph F. Quinn, 1993. "Retirement And The Labor Force Behavior Of The Elderly," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 257, Boston College Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Robert L. Clark & Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Reform of Retirement Programs and the Future Well-Being of the Elderly in America," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 423, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Matilda White Riley, 1998. "The Hidden Age Revolution: Emergent Integration of All Ages," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 12, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.


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