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The unequal impact of raising the retirement age: Employment response and program substitution

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  • Ardito Chiara

    (Department of Economics and Statistics “Cognetti de Martiis”, University of Torino & LABORatorio R. Revelli, Lungo Dora Siena 100 A, 10153Torino, Italy.)

Abstract

Using high-frequency Italian administrative data, the author studies the heterogeneous effects of a reform raising the normal retirement age (NRA) from 60 years to 65 years for private-sector male employees. The analysis, based on a difference-in-differences (DD) method, shows that the NRA raise reduces pension benefit claims but does not lead to a one-to-one increase in the employment rate since workers also apply for more disability and unemployment benefits. Moreover, most of them simply retire without any benefit. The extent of the effects varies substantially across socio-economic groups, as individuals with poorer health, with lower occupational grades and lower pay levels are the most constrained by the reform, experiencing the highest delay in pension claims, increase in employment, and inactivity. All in all, this paper shows that raising the NRA could have unintended effects as it affects more negatively the most vulnerable in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Ardito Chiara, 2021. "The unequal impact of raising the retirement age: Employment response and program substitution," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 10(1), pages 1-37, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:izajle:v:10:y:2021:i:1:p:37:n:2
    DOI: 10.2478/izajole-2021-0003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Retirement age; Labor supply; Disability benefit; Pension reform; Unemployment; Older workers; Socio-economic inequalities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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