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Retirement Choices in Italy: What an Option Value Model Tells Us

  • Michele Belloni
  • Rob Alessie

Using Italian data this study estimates the option value model in order to quantify the effect of financial incentives on retirement choices. As far as we know, this is the first empirical study which estimates the conditional multiple-years (CMY) model put forward by Stock and Wise (1990). This implies that we have accounted for dynamic self-selection bias. For the subsample of females the CMY model yields plausible estimates of the preference parameters such as the marginal utility of leisure. This last parameter is typically underestimated if one does not take into account the self-selection problem. From our results it becomes clear that dynamic self-selection results in a considerable downward-bias in the estimate of the marginal utility of leisure. We also performed a simulation study to gauge the effects of a dramatic pension reform. It turns out that the underestimation of the marginal utility of leisure translates into a sizable overprediction of the impact of the reform. For males we also obtain plausible estimates. The results for males should be interpreted with caution because we are not able to fully correct for dynamic self-selection bias.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 499-527

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:75:y:2013:i:4:p:499-527
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  1. Agar Brugiavini & Franco Peracchi, 2003. "Social Security Wealth and Retirement Decisions in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(SpecialIs), pages 79-114, 08.
  2. Agar Brugiavini, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Italy," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 181-237 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  4. Anne Møller Danø & Mette Ejrnæs & Leif Husted, 2004. "Do Single Women Value Early Retirement more than Single Men?," CAM Working Papers 2004-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
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  7. Colombino, Ugo & Hernæs, Erik & Jia, Zhiyang & Strom, Steinar, 2003. "Retirement in Italy and Norway," Memorandum 10/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Hajivassiliou, Vassilis & McFadden, Daniel & Ruud, Paul, 1996. "Simulation of multivariate normal rectangle probabilities and their derivatives theoretical and computational results," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 85-134.
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  10. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J. S. & Gumus, Gulcin, 2003. "Option Value and Dynamic Programming Model Estimates of Social Security Disability Insurance Application Timing," IZA Discussion Papers 941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Belloni, Michele & Alessie, Rob, 2009. "The importance of financial incentives on retirement choices: New evidence for Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 578-588, October.
  12. Brugiavini, Agar & Padula, Mario, 2001. "Too much for retirement? Saving in Italy," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 39-60, March.
  13. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/10, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  14. Angus Deaton & Christina H. Paxson, 1993. "Saving, Growth, and Aging in Taiwan," NBER Working Papers 4330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Richard V. Burkhauser & J. S. Butler & Gulcin Gumus, 2004. "Dynamic programming model estimates of Social Security Disability Insurance application timing," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 671-685.
  16. Arjan Heyma, 2004. "A structural dynamic analysis of retirement behaviour in the Netherlands," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 739-759.
  17. Agar Brugiavini & Vincenzo Galasso, 2003. "The Social Security Reform Process in Italy: Where do We Stand?," Working Papers wp052, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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