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When They're Sixty-Four: Peer Effects and the Timing of Retirement

  • Kristine M. Brown
  • Ron A. Laschever

This paper examines the effect of peers on an individual's likelihood of retirement using an administrative dataset of all retirement-eligible Los Angeles teachers for the years 1998-2001. We use two large unexpected pension reforms that differentially impacted financial incentives within and across schools to construct an instrument for others' retirement decisions. Controlling for individual and school characteristics, we find that the retirement of an additional teacher in the previous year at the same school increases a teacher's own likelihood of retirement by 1.5-2 percentage points. We then explore some possible mechanisms through which this effect operates. (JEL H75, I21, J14, J26, J45)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 90-115

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:3:p:90-115
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.3.90
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  1. Emmanuel Saez & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The role of information and social interactions in retirement plan decisions: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Framed Field Experiments 00141, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2013. "Does Indivisible Labor Explain the Difference between Micro and Macro Elasticities? A Meta-Analysis of Extensive Margin Elasticities," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1 - 56.
  3. Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2014. "Nonparametric Evidence on the Effects of Financial Incentives on Retirement Decisions," CESifo Working Paper Series 4619, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2006. "Labor Supply Effects of the Recent Social Security Benefit Cuts: Empirical Estimates Using Cohort Discontinuities," Working Papers 66, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  5. Andrew A. Samwick, 1998. "New Evidence on Pensions, Social Security, and the Timing of Retirement," NBER Working Papers 6534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Social Connections and Incentives in the Workplace: Evidence from Personnel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, . "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IEW - Working Papers 051, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Piero Cipollone & Alfonso Rosolia, 2006. "Social Interactions in High School: Lessons from an Earthquake," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 596, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  9. Duflo, Esther & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan: the influence of colleagues' choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 121-148, July.
  10. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, March.
  11. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2009. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 105-147.
  12. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  13. Asch, Beth & Haider, Steven J. & Zissimopoulos, Julie, 2005. "Financial incentives and retirement: evidence from federal civil service workers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 427-440, February.
  14. Gary Burtless, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805.
  15. Kristine M. Brown & Ron A. Laschever, 2012. "When They're Sixty-Four: Peer Effects and the Timing of Retirement," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 90-115, July.
  16. Brian Krauth, 2004. "Simulation-based estimation of peer effects," Econometrics 0408002, EconWPA.
  17. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role of Information and Social Interactions in Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842.
  18. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Future Social Security Entitlements and the Retirement Decision," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 234-246, May.
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