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Unemployment, human capital depreciation and pension benefits: an empirical evaluation of German data

  • POTRAFKE, NIKLAS

This paper investigates empirically how unemployment-induced employment-breaks at different career stages influence pension benefits. The analysis is based on German data. I distinguish four different career phases and investigate to what extent the prevailing social security policy compensated for earning losses. The results suggest that (1) losses in pension benefits were the greatest if unemployment occurred in the middle of a career (between 31 and 50); (2) social security policies have had a mitigating effect on losses in pension benefits. These findings indicate that institutions have a decided influence on how career patterns translate into pension benefits.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Journal of Pension Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 11 (2012)
Issue (Month): 02 (April)
Pages: 223-241

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Handle: RePEc:cup:jpenef:v:11:y:2012:i:02:p:223-241_00
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  1. Friedrich Breyer & Mathias Kifmann, 2004. "The German Retirement Benefit Formula: Drawbacks and Alternatives," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(1), pages 63-, April.
  2. Walter Fisher & Christian Keuschnigg, 2010. "Pension reform and labor market incentives," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 769-803, March.
  3. Colombino, Ugo & Hernæs, Erik & Locatelli, Marilena & Strøm, Steinar, 2011. "Pension reforms, liquidity constraints and labour supply responses," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 53-74, January.
  4. Geyer, Johannes & Steiner, Viktor, 2010. "Public Pensions, Changing Employment Patterns, and the Impact of Pension Reforms across Birth Cohorts: A Microsimulation Analysis for Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 4815, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bucheli, Marisa & Forteza, Alvaro & Rossi, Ianina, 2010. "Work histories and the access to contributory pensions: the case of Uruguay," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(03), pages 369-391, July.
  6. Dennis Görlich & Andries de Grip, 2009. "Human capital depreciation during hometime," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i98-i121, April.
  7. Axel Dreher & Martin Gassebner, 2007. "Greasing the Wheels of Entrepreneurship? The Impact of Regulations and Corruption on Firm Entry," CESifo Working Paper Series 2013, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  10. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  11. Courtney C. Coile & Phillip B. Levine, 2007. "Labor market shocks and retirement: Do government programs matter?," NBER Chapters, in: Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES), Public Policy and Retirement, pages 1902-1919 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Stefan Hupfeld, 2011. "Non-monotonicity in the longevity–income relationship," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 191-211, January.
  13. Breyer, Friedrich & Kifmann, Mathias, 2002. "Incentives to retire later a solution to the social security crisis?," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 111-130, July.
  14. Fehr, Hans & Habermann, Christian, 2006. "Pension reform and demographic uncertainty: the case of Germany," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-90, March.
  15. Geyer, Johannes & Steiner, Viktor, 2007. "Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers’ Employment and Working Hours Across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel," IZA Discussion Papers 2693, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Melvyn Coles & Carlos Carrillo-Tudela & Ken Burdett, 2008. "Human Capital Accumulation and Labor Market Equilibrium," 2008 Meeting Papers 1088, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Beblo, Miriam & Wolf, Elke, 2002. "Wage Penalties for Career Interruptions: An Empirical Analysis for West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-45, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  19. Uysal, Selver Derya & Pohlmeier, Winfried, 2011. "Unemployment duration and personality," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 980-992.
  20. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, October.
  21. Friedrich Breyer & Stefan Hupfeld, 2008. "Fairness of Public Pensions and Old-Age Poverty," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 817, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  22. Friedrich Breyer & Stefan Hupfeld, 2010. "On the Fairness of Early-Retirement Provisions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 60-77, 02.
  23. Miriam Beblo & Stefan Bender & Elke Wolf, 2009. "Establishment-level wage effects of entering motherhood," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages i11-i34, April.
  24. Hupfeld, Stefan, 2009. "Rich and healthy--better than poor and sick?: An empirical analysis of income, health, and the duration of the pension benefit spell," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 427-443, March.
  25. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Reil-Held, Anette & Schunk, Daniel, 2008. "Saving incentives, old-age provision and displacement effects: evidence from the recent German pension reform," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 295-319, November.
  26. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. repec:iza:izadps:dp509 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Fehr, Hans & Kallweit, Manuel & Kindermann, Fabian, 2012. "Pension reform with variable retirement age: a simulation analysis for Germany," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(03), pages 389-417, July.
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