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The Economic Functions of Private Pensions: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Dorsey, Stuart

Abstract

This paper presents an empirical analysis of the economic functions of defined benefit ( DB) pensions. Firms providing pensions choose between DB and defined contribution formats. The latter is essentially a tax-preferred savin gs account; the former may fill other roles. Determinants of firms' c hoice of plan are estimated using plan sponsors' reports to the Inter nal Revenue Service. Firms that are larger, unionized, employ mainly one sex, invest in specific training, and pay lower wages are more li kely to provide DB coverage. These results suggest that the economic role of pensions is broader than mere provision of tax-preferred savi ngs accounts. Copyright 1987 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorsey, Stuart, 1987. "The Economic Functions of Private Pensions: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 171-189, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:5:y:1987:i:4:p:s171-89
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
    2. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-297, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johnson, Richard W., 1997. "Pension Underfunding and Liberal Retirement Benefits Among State and Local Government Workers," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 113-42, March.
    2. Armando Barrientos, 1998. "Supplementary pension coverage in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 429-446, November.
    3. Johnson, Richard W., 1997. "Pension Underfunding and Liberal Retirement Benefits Among State and Local Government Workers," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 50(1), pages 113-142, March.
    4. Montgomery, Edward & Shaw, Kathryn, 1997. "Pensions and Wage Premia," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 510-522, July.
    5. Kazuo Yoshida & Yutaka Horiba, 2012. "Determinants of Defined-Contribution Japanese Corporate Pension Coverage," The Japanese Accounting Review, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, vol. 2, pages 33-47, December.
    6. Garen, John & Berger, Mark & Scott, Frank, 1996. "Pensions, non-discrimination policies, and the employment of older workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 417-429.
    7. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1990. "Pensions and the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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