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Micro Determinants of Labor Force Status Among Older Americans

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  • Hugo Benitez-Silva

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    Abstract

    This paper uses the first three waves of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) to investigate the determinants of labor force status among older Americans. Using transitions at two-year intervals we find that after being retired or unemployed, those who are actively searching for a job have a higher probability of returning to work. We also find that being in good physical and mental health--measured by objective and subjective variables--increases the chances of becoming employed, as does having worked in the last twelve months. Those who are receiving disability payments are less likely to make this transition. If we focus on those who are married, we find a preference for joint leisure through the influence of the labor force status, health and age of the respondent's partner on the transition decisions. We investigate transitions in and out of employment and self-employment, and for subsamples of males and females. Using monthly employment dummies for the period 1989-97, we analyze monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual transitions and find that most of our conclusions are independent of the periodicity but that the effects of the variables vary across specifications.

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    File URL: http://www.sunysb.edu/economics/research/papers/2000/00-07.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stony Brook University, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 00-07.

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    Length: 40
    Date of creation: 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:nys:sunysb:00-07

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    Postal: Stony Brook, NY 11794-4384
    Phone: (631)632-7540
    Fax: (631)632-7516
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    Web page: http://www.stonybrook.edu/economics
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    Keywords: Labor Supply; Labor Force Transitions; Retirement Decisions; Health and Retirement Survey;

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    References

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    1. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Moshe Buchinsky & Hiu Man Chan & Sofia Cheidvasser & John Rust, 2000. "How Large is the Bias in Self-Reported Disability?," Working Papers 2000-01, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    2. Friedberg, Leora, 1999. "The Impact of Technological Change on Older Workers: Evidence from Data on Computers," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1s97n77x, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    3. John Rust, 1987. "A Dynamic Programming Model of Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 2470, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. John Rust, 1989. "Behavior of male workers at the end of the life-cycle: an empirical analysis of states and controls," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 6, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. Robin L. Lumsdaine, 1995. "Factors Affecting Labor Supply Decisions and Retirement Income," NBER Working Papers 5223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ann Huff Stevens, 2001. "Changes in earnings instability and job loss," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 60-78, October.
    7. Flinn, Christopher J & Heckman, James J, 1983. "Are Unemployment and Out of the Labor Force Behaviorally Distinct Labor Force States?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 28-42, January.
    8. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
    9. 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.
    10. Michael Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 1993. "The Relationship Between Job Characteristics and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 4558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "Retirement Research Using the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 4813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Blau, David M. & Riphahn, Regina T., 1998. "Labor Force Transitions of Older Married Couples in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Blau, David M, 1998. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Married Couples," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 595-629, July.
    15. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-56, January.
    16. Rogowski, Jeannette & Karoly, Lynn, 2000. "Health insurance and retirement behavior: evidence from the health and retirement survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 529-539, July.
    17. Leora Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact of Technological Change on Older Workers: Evidence from Data on Computer Use," NBER Working Papers 8297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
    19. Blau, David M., 1997. "Social security and the labor supply of older married couples," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 373-418, December.
    20. Peracchi, Franco & Welch, Finis, 1994. "Trends in Labor Force Transitions of Older Men and Women," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(2), pages 210-42, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hugo Benitez-Silva, 2001. "A Dynamic Model of Job Search Behavior over the Life Cycle with Empirical Applications," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 100, Society for Computational Economics.
    2. Benitez-Silva, Hugo & Dwyer, Debra S., 2006. "Expectation formation of older married couples and the rational expectations hypothesis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 191-218, April.
    3. Nicole Maestas, 2007. "Back to Work: Expectations and Realizations of Work after Retirement," Working Papers 196.2, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    4. Gabriela Adriana Sala, 2011. "Empleo y desempleo entre los adultos mayores argentinos," Working Papers 7, Instituto de Estudios Laborales y del Desarrollo Económico (IELDE) - Universidad Nacional de Salta - Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Jurídicas y Sociales.
    5. Ajantha, Sisira Kumara & Tharaka, Sameera Senanayaka, 2012. "The Employment Status of the Elderly in Sri Lanka: Patterns and Determinants," MPRA Paper 42977, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Nov 2012.

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