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Does raising the retirement age increase employment of older workers?

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  • Stefan Staubli
  • Josef Zweimüller

Abstract

Two pension reforms in Austria increased the early retirement age from 60 to 62 for men and from 55 to 58.25 for women. The reforms reduced early retirement by 18.9 percentage points among affected men aged 60-62 and by 22.3 percentage points among affected women aged 55-58.25. The associated increase in employment was merely 6.8 percentage points among men and 10.1 percentage points among women. The reforms had large spillover effects to the unemployment insurance program but negligible effects on disability insurance claims. Specifically, unemployment increased by roughly 10 percentage points both among men and women. Spillover effects had substantial fiscal implications. Absent spillover effects, the reduction of net government expenditures would have amounted to 264 million Euros per year. Due to higher unemployment insurance claims and associated foregone income tax revenues the actual reduction was only 148 million Euros. High-wage and healthy workers carried the bulk of the fall in net government expenditures. Low-wage and less healthy workers generated much less government savings as they either continue to retire early via disability pensions or bridge the gap to regular retirement by drawing unemployment benefits.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 020.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision: May 2012
Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:020

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Keywords: Retirement age; policy reform; labor supply; disability; unemployment;

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  1. Jeffrey B. Liebman & Erzo F.P. Luttmer & David G. Seif, 2008. "Labor Supply Responses to Marginal Social Security Benefits: Evidence from Discontinuities," NBER Working Papers 14540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Fouarge D. & Grip A. de & Montizaan R.M., 2013. "How sensitive are individual retirement expectations to raising the retirement age?," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  2. Sánchez-Romero, Miguel & Sambt, Jože & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2013. "Quantifying the role of alternative pension reforms on the Austrian economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 94-114.
  3. Eichhorst, Werner & Boeri, Tito & Braga, Michela & De Coen, An & Galasso, Vincenzo & Gerard, Maarten & Kendzia, Michael J. & Mayrhuber, Christine & Pedersen, Jakob Louis & Schmidl, Ricarda & Steiber, , 2013. "Report No. 53: Combining the Entry of Young People in the Labour Market with the Retention of Older Workers," IZA Research Reports 53, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Inderbitzin, Lukas & Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Extended Unemployment Benefits and Early Retirement: Program Complementarity and Program Substitution," Economics Working Paper Series 1323, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  5. Tibor Hanappi, 2012. "Retirement Behaviour in Austria: Incentive Effects on Old-Age Labor Supply," NRN working papers 2012-13, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  6. Jonathan Cribb & Carl Emmerson & Gemma Tetlow, 2013. "Incentives, shocks or signals: labour supply effects of increasing the female state pension age in the UK," IFS Working Papers W13/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Vestad, Ola Lotherington, 2013. "Labour supply effects of early retirement provision," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 98-109.

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