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How Much Are Public School Teachers Willing to Pay for Their Retirement Benefits?

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  • Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick

Abstract

Public sector employees receive large fractions of their lifetime income in the form of deferred compensation. The introduction of the opportunity provided to Illinois public school employees to purchase additional pension benefits allows me to estimate employees' willingness-to-pay for benefits relative to the cost of providing them. The results show employees are willing to pay 20 cents on average for a dollar increase in the present value of expected retirement benefits. The findings suggest substantial inefficiency in compensation and cast doubt on the ability of deferred compensation schemes to attract employees. (JEL H75, I21, J26, J45)

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick, 2015. "How Much Are Public School Teachers Willing to Pay for Their Retirement Benefits?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 165-188, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:7:y:2015:i:4:p:165-88
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.20140087
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan Kings & Edouard Turkisch & Nick Manning, 2007. "Public Sector Pensions and the Challenge of an Ageing Public Service," OECD Working Papers on Public Governance 2, OECD Publishing.
    2. Schiller, Bradley R & Weiss, Randall D, 1980. "Pensions and Wages: A Test for Equalizing Differences," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(4), pages 529-538, November.
    3. Robert Novy-Marx & Joshua D. Rauh, 2009. "The Liabilities and Risks of State-Sponsored Pension Plans," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
    4. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187.
    5. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
    6. Inman, Robert P., 1982. "Public employee pensions and the local labor budget," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 49-71, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Brown, Jeffrey R. & Kapteyn, Arie & Luttmer, Erzo F.P. & Mitchell, Olivia S. & Samek, Anya, 2019. "Behavioral Impediments to Valuing Annuities: Complexity and Choice Bracketing," IZA Discussion Papers 12263, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. repec:spr:jlabre:v:39:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s12122-018-9270-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dan Goldhaber & Cyrus Grout, 2016. "Pension Choices and the Savings Patterns of Public School Teachers," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(4), pages 449-481, Fall.
    4. Patten Priestley Mahler, 2017. "Are Teacher Pensions "Hazardous" for Schools?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 18-281, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    5. Justin Falk & Nadia Karamcheva, 2018. "Comparing the Effects of Current Pay and Defined Benefit Pensions on Employee Retention: Working Paper 2018-06," Working Papers 54056, Congressional Budget Office.
    6. Fitzpatrick, Maria D., 2017. "Pension-spiking, free-riding, and the effects of pension reform on teachers' earnings," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 57-74.
    7. repec:oup:jeurec:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:429-462. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Jeffrey R. Brown & Arie Kapteyn & Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Olivia S. Mitchell & Anya Samek, 2017. "Behavioral Impediments to Valuing Annuities: Evidence on the Effects of Complexity and Choice Bracketing," NBER Working Papers 24101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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