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Social Security and the search behaviour of workers approaching retirement

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Author Info

  • J. Ignacio García Pérez

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • Alfonso R Sánchez Martín

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

This paper explores the links between unemployment, retirement and their associated public insurance programs. It is a contribution to a growing body of literature focused on a better understanding of the labor behavior of advanced-age workers, which has gained importance as the pension crisis looms. It also contributes to the literature of optimal unemployment insurance by exploring the interaction of unemployment benefits and retirement pensions. The analysis combines the development of a new theoretical model and a detailed exploration of the empirical regularities using the Spanish Muestra Continua de Vidas Laborales (MCVL) dataset. The model is an extension of the standard search model, designed to reproduce the non-stationary environment faced by workers of advanced ages (in the age range 50/65). Via calibrated simulations we show that the basic empirical re-employment and retirement patterns can be considered as rational responses to both the labor market conditions and the institutional incentives. Generous Unemployment Benefits (for durations of up to two years) together with very significant early retirement penalties, make optimal to stay unemployed without searching for large groups of unemployed workers. This moral hazard problem can be substantially alleviated through institutional reform. We explore several potential reforms and find that changing the details of early retirement pensions seems more promising than changing the Unemployment Benefit system.

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File URL: http://www.upo.es/serv/bib/wps/econ0803.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08.03.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:08.03

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Keywords: Unemployment; Retirement; Search models;

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References

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  1. Paul Frijters & Bas van der Klaau, 2003. "Job Search with Nonparticipation," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-3, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  2. Benitez-Silva, Hugo & Buchinsky, Moshe & Chan, Hiu Man & Rust, John & Sheidvasser, Sofia, 1999. "An empirical analysis of the social security disability application, appeal, and award process," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 147-178, June.
  3. Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. van den Berg, Gerard J, 1990. "Search Behaviour, Transitions to Nonparticipation and the Duration of Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 842-65, September.
  5. 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.
  6. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
  7. Hopenhayn, H. & Nicolini, P.J., 1996. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance," RCER Working Papers 421, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Sergi Jiménez-Mart�n & Alfonso R. Sánchez Mart�n, 2007. "An evaluation of the life cycle effects of minimum pensions on retirement behavior," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(5), pages 923-950.
  9. van der Klaauw, Wilbert & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 2008. "Social security and the retirement and savings behavior of low-income households," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1-2), pages 21-42, July.
  10. Narayana Kocherlakota, 2004. "Figuring out the Impact of Hidden Savings on Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(3), pages 541-554, July.
  11. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Debra S. Dwyer & Frank Heiland & Warren C. Sanderson, 2006. "Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations: A Solution to the New Early Retirement Puzzle," Department of Economics Working Papers 06-05, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
  12. Joseph Stiglitz & Jungyoll Yun, 2002. "Integration of Unemployment Insurance with Retirement Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bernard Casey & Howard Oxley & Edward R. Whitehouse & Pablo Antolín & Romain Duval & Willi Leibfritz, 2003. "Policies for an Ageing Society: Recent Measures and Areas for Further Reform," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 369, OECD Publishing.
  14. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 2000. "Incentive effects of social security on labor force participation: evidence in Germany and across Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 25-49, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jose Ignacio García Pérez & Sergi Jiménez Martín & Alfonso R. Sánchez Martín, 2010. "Retirement incentives, individual heterogeneity and labour transitions of employed and unemployed workers," Working Papers 2010-27, FEDEA.
  2. Hugo Benétez-Silva & J. Ignacio Garcéa-Pérez & Sergi Jiménez-Martén, 2011. "The Effects of Employment Uncertainty and Wealth Shocks on the Labor Supply and Claiming Behavior of Older American Workers," Working Papers 564, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  3. Jose Ignacio García Pérez & Alfonso R. Sánchez Martín, 2010. "Social Security and the job search behavior of workers approaching retirement," Working Papers 2010-26, FEDEA.
  4. Sergi Jiménez Martín & Judit Vall Castello, 2009. "Business Cycle Effects on Labour Force Transitions for Older People in Spain," Working Papers 2009-25, FEDEA.
  5. Julian Diaz Saavedra, 2014. "Early Retirement, Social Security, and Output Gap," ThE Papers 14/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
  6. José Ignacio García Pérez, 2010. "Retirement incentives, individual heterogeneity and labour transitions of employed and unemployed workers," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2010/12, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.

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