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The Effect of Retirement Incentives on Retirement Behavior: Evidence from the Self-Employed in the United States and England

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  • Julie Zissimopoulos

    (RAND)

  • Nicole Maestas

    (RAND)

  • Lynn Karoly

    (RAND)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine how public and private pension and health insurance systems affect the retirement transitions. In many countries, public and private pension eligibility, as well as access to health insurance varies between self-employed and wage and salary workers, and these differences are likely to cause differential retirement patterns both within and across countries. We use the variation in these institutional features within and across the United States and England to analyze retirement patterns. Based on longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) in the United States and the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing (ELSA) we find that the higher labor force exit rate of wage and salary workers compared to self-employed workers is due to defined benefit pension incentives created by the public and private pension systems. Higher rates of labor force exit at ages 55 and older in England compared to the United States are due in part to the availability of publicly provided health insurance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center in its series Working Papers with number wp155.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp155

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  1. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2004. "The effects of subjective survival on retirement and Social Security claiming," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 761-775.
  2. Meghir, Costas & Whitehouse, Edward, 1997. "Labour market transitions and retirement of men in the UK," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 327-354, August.
  3. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2002. "Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Job Mobility: A Critical Review of the Literature," NBER Working Papers 8817, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Purvi Sevak, 2002. "Wealth Shocks and Retirement Timing: Evidence from the Nineties," Working Papers wp027, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Michael Hurd & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2003. "Saving for Retirement: Wage Growth and Unexpected Events," Working Papers wp045, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  6. Zissimopoulos, Julie M. & Karoly, Lynn A., 2007. "Transitions to self-employment at older ages: The role of wealth, health, health insurance and other factors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 269-295, April.
  7. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, July.
  8. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Introduction to "Social Security and Retirement around the World"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 1-35 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Olivia S. Mitchell & John W. R. Phillips, 2012. "Retirement in Japan and the United States: Cross-national Comparisons using the Japanese Study of Aging and Retirement (JSTAR) and the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS)," Working Papers wp270, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Coe, Norma B. & Zamarro, Gema, 2011. "Retirement effects on health in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 77-86, January.

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