Public policy and the labor supply of older Americans
Most of the papers prepared for this conference make clear the desirable economic effects if older Americans worked longer and spent fewer years in retirement. Despite a small upturn in labor market participation by older workers in recent years, there is substantial room for significantly greater movement in this direction. The public policy framework is a major determinant of when Americans decide to retire. Both workers and employers take some account of the rules related to retirement that are present in the Social Security laws, tax laws, and regulations governing private pension plans and individual retirement savings. This paper addresses the issue of whether the current set of laws can be changed to provide fewer incentives to retire early and offer more encouragement to work longer.
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