Toward explaining earlier retirement after 1970
This study investigates why, after 15 years of virtual stability, U.S. labor force participation rates for men aged 55 to 64 fell by approximately 20% from 1970 through 1986. The author's analysis of rule changes in the social security system and pension plans suggests that part of this reduction was caused by an increase in social security benefits by almost 50% during the 1970s (half of which is not reflected in legislation), which worked to create unexpected wealth effects similar to those that characterized the system during the early 1950s; but an equally important cause was a widespread change in private pension plan rules toward encouraging earlier retirement. These conclusions challenge the common notion that earlier retirement is largely a supply-side phenomenon. (Abstract courtesy JSTOR.)
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Volume (Year): 43 (1990)
Issue (Month): 5 (July)
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