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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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Author Info

  • Julie Zissimopoulos
  • Nicole Maestas
  • Lynn A. Karoly

Abstract

The authors examine how public and private pension and health insurance systems affect 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. They 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) they 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 RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 528.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:528

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Keywords: retirement; self-employment; health insurance; pensions;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Michael D. Hurd & James P. Smith & Julie M. Zissimopoulos, 2002. "The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming," Working Papers wp021, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  3. Purvi Sevak, 2002. "Wealth Shocks and Retirement Timing: Evidence from the Nineties," Working Papers wp027, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Julie Zissimopoulos & Lynn A. Karoly, 2003. "Transitions to Self-Employment at Older Ages: The Role of Wealth, Health, Health Insurance, and Other Factors," Working Papers 135, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  5. 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.
  6. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 2002. "Health Insurance, Labor Supply, and Job Mobility: A Critical Review of the Literature," JCPR Working Papers 255, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  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. Michael Hurd & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2003. "Saving for Retirement: Wage Growth and Unexpected Events," Working Papers wp045, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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Cited by:
  1. Coe, Norma B. & Zamarro, Gema, 2011. "Retirement effects on health in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 77-86, January.
  2. 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.

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