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Use and misuse of unemployment benefits for early retirement

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  • Cremer, Helmuth
  • Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie
  • Pestieau, Pierre

Abstract

Unemployment insurance (UI) in some countries is one of the most widely used routes to early retirement. Accordingly, firms lay off elderly workers whose wages exceed their productivity. These workers then receive unemployment benefits until they enter formal retirement, even though they have effectively already exited the labor market. To persuade them into finding the deal acceptable, they quite often may also receive some additional compensation from their employers. In this paper we consider three routes of transition from work to formal retirement that rely on UI: (i) standard unemployment compensation, (ii) public early retirement program yielding benefits higher than the unemployment compensation and (iii) unemployment compensation along with an income supplement provided by the former employer. The study examines under which conditions these three alternative practices can occur.

Suggested Citation

  • Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie & Pestieau, Pierre, 2009. "Use and misuse of unemployment benefits for early retirement," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 174-185, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:25:y:2009:i:2:p:174-185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & Lozachmeur, Jean-Marie & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Social security, retirement age and optimal income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(11), pages 2259-2281, September.
    3. Annemiek Vuren & Daniel Vuuren, 2007. "Financial Incentives in Disability Insurance in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 155(1), pages 73-98, March.
    4. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, 2003. "Early Retirement," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 12-36, January.
    5. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1.
    6. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Introduction to "Social Security and Retirement around the World"," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security and Retirement around the World, pages 1-35 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alain Jousten & Mathieu Lefebvre & Sergio Perelman, 2012. "Disability in Belgium: There Is More Than Meets the Eye," NBER Chapters,in: Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Historical Trends in Mortality and Health, Employment, and Disability Insurance Participatio, pages 251-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alain Jousten & Mathieu Lefebvre, 2013. "Retirement Incentives in Belgium: Estimations and Simulations Using SHARE Data," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(3), pages 253-276, September.
    3. Filges, Trine & Larsen, Mona & Pedersen, Peder J., 2012. "Retirement: Does Individual Unemployment Matter? Evidence from Danish Panel Data 1980–2009," IZA Discussion Papers 6538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Richard Disney & Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2010. "Disability, capacity for work and the business cycle: an international perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 483-536, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early retirement Unemployment;

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