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The Determinants of Early Retirement in Switzerland

  • David Dorn
  • Alfonso Sousa-Poza

In the past decade, Switzerland has experienced a large increase in the number of individuals going into early retirement. This paper examines the determinants of such early retirement using data from the newly implemented social-security module of the 2002 Swiss Labor Force Survey. In the sixteen-month period from January 2001 to April 2002, more than 36,000 older individuals, representing 8% of all workers within nine years of legal retirement age, became early retirees. One of the most important determinants of early retirement is the wage rate, yet its effect is not linear: both high and low wages reduce the probability. Other factors that play an important role include partner's employment status, education, industry, occupation, and coverage in the three social-security pillars. A major finding of this study is that about 30% of all early retirees continue working after retirement - and mostly for the same employer.

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Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 141 (2005)
Issue (Month): II (June)
Pages: 247-283

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2005-ii-4
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  1. Alfonso Sousa-Poza & Fred Henneberger, 2000. "Wage data collected by telephone interviews: an empirical analysis of the item nonresponse problem and its implications for the estimation of wage functions," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(I), pages 79-98, March.
  2. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1983. "A Structural Retirement Model," NBER Working Papers 1237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Dorn & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2003. "Why is the Employment Rate of Older Swiss so High? An Analysis of the Social Security System," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 652-672, October.
  4. Gangaram Singh & Anil Verma, 2003. "Work history and later-life labor force participation: Evidence from a large telecommunications firm," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 699-715, July.
  5. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 2000. "Retirement in Dual-Career Families: A Structural Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 503-45, July.
  6. Burtless, Gary, 1986. "Social Security, Unanticipated Benefit Increases, and the Timing of Retirement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 781-805, October.
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