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Economic Determinants of the Optimal Retirement Age: An Empirical Investigation

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  • Gary S. Fields
  • Olivia S. Mitchell

Abstract

In this paper we examine how the structures of earnings, Social Security, and pension benefits affect retirement behavior. We use an intertemporal model of labor supply, paying special attention to the institutional features of private pensions and Social Security benefits. This theoretical formulation produces comparative dynamic predictions and guides empirical modeling. Data from a new survey of workers and their income opportunities are used to implement the empirical model. On the basis of empirical retirement estimates, we conclude that (1) people with higher base wealth retire earlier, and (2) those who expect to gain more by postponing retirement retire later.

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  • Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Economic Determinants of the Optimal Retirement Age: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(2), pages 245-262.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:19:y:1984:i:2:p:245-262
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1979. "The Pension Acceptance Decision of Older Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-75.
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