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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. 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.
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    3. 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.
    4. Inman, Robert P., 1982. "Public employee pensions and the local labor budget," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 49-71, October.
    5. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Westall, John, 2019. "Social security and retirement timing: evidence from a national sample of teachers," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(4), pages 549-564, October.
    2. 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).
    3. Rauh, Joshua D. & Stefanescu, Irina & Zeldes, Stephen P., 2020. "Cost saving and the freezing of corporate pension plans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).
    4. 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.
    5. Robert L. Clark & Aditi Pathak & Denis Pelletier, 2018. "Supplemental Retirement Savings Plans in the Public Sector: Participation and Contribution Decisions by School Personnel," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 383-404, December.
    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. Dean, Andres & Fleitas, Sebastian & Zerpa, Mariana, 2020. "Dynamic Incentives in Retirement Earnings-Replacement Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 12982, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Laura D. Quinby, 2020. "Do Deferred Retirement Benefits Retain Government Employees?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(2), pages 469-509, March.
    9. Shawn Ni & Michael Podgursky & Fangda Wang, 2020. "How Teachers Value Pension Wealth: A Reexamination of the Illinois Experience," Working Papers 2007, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
    10. 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.
    11. Dongwoo Kim & Cory Koedel & Wei Kong & Shawn Ni & Michael Podgursky & Weiwei Wu, 2021. "Pensions and Late-Career Teacher Retention," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 16(1), pages 42-65, Winter.
    12. repec:oup:jeurec:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:429-462. is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Colleen Flaherty Manchester, 2019. "Retirement plan type and worker mobility," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 461-461, October.

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    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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