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Why is There Mandatory Retirement? An Empirical Reexamination


  • Duane E. Leigh


A widely cited explanation of mandatory retirement age provisions is the "incentives" model developed and tested by Lazear. The research reported here builds upon Lazear's empirical framework by adding testable implications drawn from a specific human capital explanation of mandatory retirement. The role of monitoring costs in accounting for mandatory retirement rules is also discussed. The evidence presented, based on data from the NLS mature men sample, indicates that, in addition to the personal characteristics examined by Lazear, a comprehensive explanation of mandatory retirement requires the consideration of both specific human capital and monitoring costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Duane E. Leigh, 1984. "Why is There Mandatory Retirement? An Empirical Reexamination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 512-531.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:19:y:1984:i:4:p:512-531

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kenneth A. Couch & Thomas A. Dunn, 1997. "Intergenerational Correlations in Labor Market Status: A Comparison of the United States and Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 210-232.
    2. Nancy A. Jianakoplos & Paul L. Menchik, 1997. "Wealth Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 18-31, February.
    3. Gottschalk, Peter, 1996. "Is the correlation in welfare participation across generations spurious?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-25, December.
    4. Mary Corcoran & Roger Gordon & Deborah Laren & Gary Solon, 1992. "The Association between Men's Economic Status and Their Family and Community Origins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(4), pages 575-601.
    5. Menchik, Paul L, 1979. "Inter-generational Transmission of Inequality: An Empirical Study of Wealth Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 46(184), pages 349-362, November.
    6. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    7. Colin Cameron, A. & Windmeijer, Frank A. G., 1997. "An R-squared measure of goodness of fit for some common nonlinear regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 329-342, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nadide Banu Olcay, 2016. "Dynamic incentive contracts with termination threats," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 20(4), pages 255-288, December.
    2. Björklund, Anders & Åkerman, Jeanette, 1989. "Piece-Rates, On-the-Job Training and the Wage-Tenure Profile," Working Paper Series 246, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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