IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Effect of Social Security, Health, Demography and Technology on Retirement

  • Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira

    (Fundacao Getulio Vargas)

  • Marcelo Rodrigues dos Santos

    (Fundacao Getulio Vargas)

This article studies the determinants of the labor force participation of the elderly and investigates the factors that may account for the increase in retirement in the second half of the last century. We develop a life-cycle general equilibrium model with endogenous retirement that embeds Social Security legislation and Medicare. Individuals are ex ante heterogeneous with respect to their preferences for leisure and face uncertainty about labor productivity, health status and out-of-pocket medical expenses. The model is calibrated to the U.S. economy in 2000 and is able to reproduce very closely the retirement behavior of the American population. It reproduces the peaks in the distribution of Social Security applications at ages 62 and 65 and the observed facts that low earners and unhealthy individuals retire earlier. It also matches very closely the increase in retirement from 1950 to 2000. Changes in Social Security policy - which became much more generous - and the introduction of Medicare account for most of the expansion of retirement. In contrast, the isolated impact of the increase in longevity was a delaying of retirement. (Copyright: Elsevier)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and institutional members. See for details.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 350-370

in new window

Handle: RePEc:red:issued:09-135
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Marina Azzimonti, Department of Economics, Stonybrook University, 10 Nicolls Road, Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Dwyer, Debra Sabatini & Mitchell, Olivia S., 1999. "Health problems as determinants of retirement: Are self-rated measures endogenous?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 173-193, April.
  2. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri & Giovanni L. Violante, 2009. "Unequal we stand: an empirical analysis of economic inequality in the United States, 1967-2006," Staff Report 436, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Sala-i-Martin, Xavier X, 1996. "A Positive Theory of Social Security," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 2a77-304, June.
  4. Shinichi Nishiyama & Kent Smetters, 2005. "Does Social Security Privatization Produce Efficiency Gains?," Working Papers wp106, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  5. Hugett, M. & Ventura, G., 1997. "On the Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9710, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  6. Garner, Thesia I, 1993. "Consumer Expenditures and Inequality: An Analysis Based on Decomposition of the Gini Coefficient," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(1), pages 134-38, February.
  7. H. Benitez-Silva & F. Heiland, 2008. "Early claiming of social security benefits and labour supply behaviour of older Americans," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(23), pages 2969-2985.
  8. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  9. Conde-Ruiz, José Ignacio & Galasso, Vincenzo, 2000. "Early Retirement," CEPR Discussion Papers 2589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Future Social Security Entitlements and the Retirement Decision," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 234-246, May.
  11. Mark Huggett & Juan Carols Parra, 2006. "How Well Does the US Social Insurance System Provide Social Insurance?," Working Papers gueconwpa~06-06-11, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  12. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  13. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Sarah Tanner, 1995. "Is there a retirement-savings puzzle?," IFS Working Papers W95/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 1997. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," GSIA Working Papers 228, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  15. Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," NBER Working Papers 9317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," IZA Discussion Papers 775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Finkelstein, Amy & McKnight, Robin, 2008. "What did Medicare do? The initial impact of Medicare on mortality and out of pocket medical spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1644-1668, July.
  18. Wolff, Edward N, 1994. "Trends in Household Wealth in the United States, 1962-83 and 1983-89," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(2), pages 143-74, June.
  19. Greg Kaplan, 2010. "Inequality and the Lifecycle," 2010 Meeting Papers 135, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. Juan A. Rojas & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Social Security Reform with Uninsurable Income Risk and Endogenous Borrowing Constraints," Working Papers 0409, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  21. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-80, September.
  22. Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & David N. Weil, 2004. "Mortality Change, the Uncertainty Effect, and Retirement," Working Papers 2004-04, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  23. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Imrohoroglu, Selahattin & Joines, Douglas H, 1995. "A Life Cycle Analysis of Social Security," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 6(1), pages 83-114, June.
  24. Eric French & John BaileyJones, 2007. "The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior," Working Papers wp170, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  25. Wolff, Edward N., 1994. "Trends in Household Wealth in the United States: 1962-1983 and 1983-1989," Working Papers 94-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  26. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2005. "Consumption versus Expenditure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 919-948, October.
  27. Rust, J., 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Working papers 9430, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  28. Karen Kopecky, 2005. "The Trend in Retirement," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 12, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  29. Juan A. Rojas & Carlos Urrutia, 2008. "Social Security with Uninsurable Income Risk and Endogenous Borrowing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 83-103, January.
  30. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
  31. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1986. "A Structural Retirement Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 555-84, May.
  32. Gruber, Jonathan & Orszag, Peter, 2003. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 755-73, December.
  33. Luisa Fuster & Ayşe İmrohoroğlu & Selahattin İmrohoroğlu, 2007. "Elimination of Social Security in a Dynastic Framework," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 113-145.
  34. J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz & Vincenzo Galasso, . "The Macroeconomic of Early Retirement," Working Papers 194, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  35. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1991. "The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation," NBER Working Papers 3699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  37. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  38. Ellen R. McGrattan & Richard Rogerson, 1998. "Changes in hours worked since 1950," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-19.
  39. Flodén, Martin & Linde, Jesper, 1998. "Idiosyncratic Risk in the U.S. and Sweden: Is there a Role for Government Insurance?," Seminar Papers 654, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  40. Juster, F. Thomas & Stafford, Frank P., 1990. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioural Models, and Problems of Measurement," Working Paper Series 258, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  41. Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
  42. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2008. "Deconstructing Lifecycle Expenditure," Working Papers wp173, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  43. Feldstein, Martin S, 1974. "Social Security, Induced Retirement, and Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 905-26, Sept./Oct.
  44. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Pessoa, Samuel de Abreu, 2005. "The effects of longevity and distortions on education and retirement," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 590, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  45. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
  46. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Butler, J. S. & Feng, Shuaizhang & Houtenville, Andrew J., 2004. "Long term trends in earnings inequality: what the CPS can tell us," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 295-299, February.
  47. Davies, James B, 1981. "Uncertain Lifetime, Consumption, and Dissaving in Retirement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 561-77, June.
  48. Glenn T. Sueyoshi, 1989. "Social Security and the Determinants of Full and Partial Retirement: A Competing Risks Analysis," NBER Working Papers 3113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Julian Diaz-Saavedra, 2009. "Delaying Retirement in Spain," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 147-167, January.
  50. Gary Burtless, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805.
  51. Orazio P. Attanasio & Guglielmo Weber, 1993. "Consumption Growth, the Interest Rate and Aggregation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 631-649.
  52. Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Understanding the U.S. distribution of wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 22-36.
  53. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  54. Eric French & John Bailey Jones, 2004. "On the distribution and dynamics of health care costs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(6), pages 705-721.
  55. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:issued:09-135. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.