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Labor Market Search and Optimal Retirement Policy

  • Joydeep Bhattacharya
  • Casey B. Mulligan
  • Robert R. Reed

A popular and long-standing view is that social security is a means for young, unemployed people to "purchase" jobs from older workers. Can social security, by encouraging retirement and hence creating job vacancies for the young, improve the allocation of workers to jobs? Maybe, according to a standard model of labor market search, but public retirement programs currently pay the elderly substantially more than their jobs are worth. An important effect is that retirement reduces the value of other vacant jobs. Our results imply that recent reforms aimed at reducing retirement incentives are likely to improve labor market efficiency. (JEL J41, H55, J64, J26) Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbh081
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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 42 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 560-571

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:42:y:2004:i:4:p:560-571
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  1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2000. "Can Monopoly Unionism Explain Publicly Induced Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 7680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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