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For Whom the Retirement Bell Tolls: Accounting for Changes in the Expected Age of Retirement and the Incidence of Mandatory Retirement in Canada


  • Rafael Gomez
  • Morley Gunderson


Data from the 2002 and 1994 General Social Survey are used to analyze the determinants of retiring due to mandatory retirement and the expected age of retirement in Canada. Changes between 1994 and 2002 are decomposed into two components, one attributable to shifts in the composition of respondents and the other to changes in the preferences and/or constraints of respondents. Changing preferences and constraints play a very important role for both outcomes. Specifically, we first indentify a 1.3 percentage point drop in the probability of retiring due to mandatory retirement between 1994 and 2002, with that drop due entirely to preference or constraint changes. These changes offset changes in the composition of the workforce, which were working to increase the probability of retiring due to mandatory retirement. Second, we find an increase of 3.7 years in the expected age of retirement between 1994 and 2002, with that increase being almost exclusively attributable to preference/constraint shifts. The implications of these findings for employers, employees, and policy-makers are discussed.

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  • Rafael Gomez & Morley Gunderson, 2011. "For Whom the Retirement Bell Tolls: Accounting for Changes in the Expected Age of Retirement and the Incidence of Mandatory Retirement in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 37(4), pages 513-539, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:37:y:2011:i:4:p:513-539

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    1. Donald N. Dewees, 2010. "The Price Isn't Right: The Need for Reform in Consumer Electricity Pricing," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 124, January.
    2. Donald N. Dewees, 2008. "Pollution and the Price of Power," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 81-100.
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