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Long-Term Labor Force Exit and Economic Well-Being: A Cross-National Comparison of Public and Private Income Support

  • Richard V. Burkhauser
  • Dean R. Lillard
  • Paola M. Valenti

This paper examines how the economic well-being of households changes after a male household member exits the labor force. We examine, in four countries, labor force exits at various ages and present evidence on household income from various sources before and after the exit occurs. We focus on the rate at which household income is replaced through public and private means after labor force exit. We find that economic well-being is underestimated when researchers follow the traditional focus in this literature and consider replacement of earnings through public pension programs. When one measures total household income, after taxes and transfers, before and after labor force exits, not only is economic well-being greater but cross-country differences are reduced.

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File URL: http://ejournals.duncker-humblot.de/doi/pdf/10.3790/vjh.70.1.146
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Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 70 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 146-152

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:70-10-21
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  1. Peter Diamond & Jonathan Gruber, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 437-473 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser & Daniel A. Myers, 1990. "Passing the Torch: The Influence of Economic Incentives on Work and Retirement," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pt, June.
  3. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-42, June.
  4. J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Introduction," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 249-254, November.
  5. Axel Borsch-Supan & Reinhold Schnabel, 1997. "Social Security and Retirement in Germany," NBER Working Papers 6153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robin L. Lumsdaine & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "New Developments in the Economic Analysis of Retirement," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-8, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Social Security and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 7830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Merz, Joachim, 1994. "Relative Inequality and Poverty in Germany and the United States Using Alternative Equivalence Scales," MPRA Paper 16295, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Jonathan Gruber, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement in Canada," NBER Chapters, in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 73-99 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Peter Diamond, 2004. "Social Security," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 1-24, March.
  11. Joseph F. Quinn, 1993. "Retirement And The Labor Force Behavior Of The Elderly," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 257, Boston College Department of Economics.
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