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Retirement Plan Type and Employee Mobility: The Role of Selection


  • Gopi Shah Goda
  • Damon Jones
  • Colleen Flaherty Manchester


Relative to defined benefit (DB) plans, defined contribution (DC) plans have been linked to greater employee mobility. Because employees with different underlying mobility tendencies may sort across plans or firms, the relationship between plan type and mobility may be due to selection. We identify the role of selection by exploiting a natural experiment at an employer, in which the transition from a DB to a DC pension plan was affected by default rules. Using the default assignment as a source of exogenous variation in plan enrollment, we find that employees with higher mobility tendencies self-select into the DC plan.

Suggested Citation

  • Gopi Shah Goda & Damon Jones & Colleen Flaherty Manchester, 2017. "Retirement Plan Type and Employee Mobility: The Role of Selection," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(3), pages 654-679.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:52:y:2017:i:3:p:654-679
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.52.3.0315-6997R1

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    Cited by:

    1. Colleen Flaherty Manchester, 2019. "Retirement plan type and worker mobility," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 461-461, October.
    2. Fang, Tony & Messacar, Derek, 2019. "Voluntary Job Separations and Traditional versus Flexible Workplace Saving Plans: Evidence from Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 12262, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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