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The decline of substitute pathways into retirement: Empirical evidence from the Dutch health care sector


  • Rob Euwals
  • Annemiek van Vuren
  • Daniel van Vuuren


Early retirement schemes and disability insurance in the Netherlands have undergone several reforms in recent decades. The reforms have increased incentives for older workers to continue working and have decreased the roles of “substitute pathways” into retirement. This article gives an overview of the reforms and, using administrative data for workers in the health care sector, tests a number of hypotheses about the labour market participation of older workers. The results offer two main findings: i) that the Dutch reforms have indeed been effective, as the labour force participation rate of older workers has increased; and ii) the concept of “substitute pathways” has become less relevant as the use of disability insurance has been closed off as an exit route to early retirement. Nevertheless, caution is required before generalizing the implications of these Dutch findings to other OECD countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Rob Euwals & Annemiek van Vuren & Daniel van Vuuren, 2012. "The decline of substitute pathways into retirement: Empirical evidence from the Dutch health care sector," International Social Security Review, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 65(3), pages 101-122, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:intssr:v:65:y:2012:i:3:p:101-122
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-246X.2012.01438.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Noelia Bernal & Frederic Vermeulen, 2014. "The Impact of an Increase in the Legal Retirement Age on the Effective Retirement Age," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(2), pages 115-145, June.
    2. John Ameriks & Joseph Briggs & Andrew Caplin & Minjoon Lee & Matthew D. Shapiro & Christopher Tonetti, 2020. "Older Americans Would Work Longer If Jobs Were Flexible," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 174-209, January.
    3. Etienne Lalé, 2018. "Turbulence and the employment experience of older workers," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 735-784, July.
    4. Bernal Lobato, N., 2014. "Essays in applied microeconomics," Other publications TiSEM 9b638b3d-2f83-452a-b2c8-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Marloes Graaf-Zijl & Albert Horst & Daniel Vuuren & Hugo Erken & Rob Luginbuhl, 2015. "Long-Term Unemployment and the Great Recession in the Netherlands: Economic Mechanisms and Policy Implications," De Economist, Springer, vol. 163(4), pages 415-434, December.
    6. Maciej Lis & Agnieszka Kamińska & Aart-Jan Riekhoff & Izabela Styczynska, 2013. "The Impact of Institutional and Socio-Ecological Drivers on Activity at Older Ages," CASE Network Reports 0115, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.

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