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Unemployment and the Retirement Decisions of Older Workers

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  • Paul Marmora
  • Moritz Ritter

Abstract

This paper examines how unemployment late in workers’ careers affects retirement timing. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation from 1996 to 2011, we document that unemployed workers permanently leave the labor force at a significantly higher rate than employed workers. This effect is stronger once workers become eligible for Social Security benefits. The effect of unemployment on retirement early in an unemployment spell is weaker for workers eligible for UI benefits. Unemployed workers, particularly those workers in households with below median wealth, also have a significantly higher rate of early Social Security uptake shortly after turning 62 relative to employed workers. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Marmora & Moritz Ritter, 2015. "Unemployment and the Retirement Decisions of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 274-290, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jlabre:v:36:y:2015:i:3:p:274-290
    DOI: 10.1007/s12122-015-9207-y
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    Cited by:

    1. Kruse, Herman & Myhre, Andreas, 2021. "Early Retirement Provision for Elderly Displaced Workers," MPRA Paper 118689, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 21 Sep 2023.
    2. Turner Thomas, 2019. "Remaining active in the labour market: Trends and characteristics of the over 50s," The Irish Journal of Management, Sciendo, vol. 38(1), pages 16-25, December.
    3. Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "Phasing out: routine tasks and retirement," GRAPE Working Papers 23, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    4. Ga?ecka-Burdziak, Ewa & Góra, Marek, 2017. "How Do Unemployed Workers Behave Prior to Retirement? A Multi-State Multiple-Spell Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10680, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Frimmel, Wolfgang, 2021. "Later retirement and the labor market re-integration of elderly unemployed workers," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 19(C).
    6. Kruse, Herman & Myhre, Andreas, 2021. "Early Retirement Provision for Elderly Displaced Workers," MPRA Paper 109431, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. van der Velde, Lucas, 2022. "Phasing out: Routine tasks and retirement," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 784-803.
    8. Linden, Mikael, 2023. "Retirement Age Trap: RDD Approach to Terminated Retirement Spells," MPRA Paper 119168, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Rachel Ong & Gavin A Wood & Melek Cigdem, 2022. "Housing wealth, mortgages and Australians’ labour force participation in later life," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 59(4), pages 810-833, March.
    10. Tomasz Jedynak, 2022. "Does the Formulation of the Decision Problem Affect Retirement?—Framing Effect and Planned Retirement Age," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(4), pages 1-30, February.
    11. Owen Davis, 2021. "Employment and Retirement Among Older Workers During the Covid-19 Pandemic," SCEPA working paper series. 2021-06, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.
    12. Hila Axelrad & Miki Malul & Israel Luski, 2018. "Unemployment among younger and older individuals: does conventional data about unemployment tell us the whole story?," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 52(1), pages 1-12, December.
    13. Owen Davis, 2021. "Employment and Retirement Among Older Workers During the Covid-19 Pandemic," SCEPA publication series. 2021-06, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), The New School.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Older workers; Retirement; Social security; Unemployment duration; Unemployment benefits; J26; H55; J14; J64; J65;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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