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How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets

  • John Rust
  • Christopher Phelan

This paper provides an empirical analysis of how the U.S. Social Security and Medicare system affects the labor supply of older males in the presence of incomplete markets. The authors estimate a dynamic programming model of the joint labor supply and Social Security acceptance decision. The model is able to account for a wide variety of phenomena observed in the data, including the pronounced peaks in the distribution of retirement ages at sixty-two and sixty-five. Overall, the authors' model suggests that several puzzling aspects of retirement behavior can be viewed as artifacts of particular details of the Social Security rules.

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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 65 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 781-832

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Handle: RePEc:ecm:emetrp:v:65:y:1997:i:4:p:781-832
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  4. John Rust, 1989. "Behavior of male workers at the end of the life-cycle: an empirical analysis of states and controls," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 6, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  23. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1983. "A Simple Scheme for Estimating an Intertemporal Model of Labor Supply and Consumption in the Presence of Taxes and Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(2), pages 265-89, June.
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  29. Rust, John, 1987. "Optimal Replacement of GMC Bus Engines: An Empirical Model of Harold Zurcher," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(5), pages 999-1033, September.
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  37. Kahn, James A., 1988. "Social security, liquidity, and early retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 97-117, February.
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