IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this book

Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security


  • Gary S. Fields

    (Cornell University)

  • Olivia S. Mitchell

    (University of Pennsylvania)


American workers are retiring earlier, living longer, and receiving greater retirement benefits for each year out of the labor force than ever before, which has created serious financial pressures on the nation's Social Security system and generated an intense and often heated debate. This book places retirement in an economic context, calculating the income opportunities facing older workers at alternate retirement ages, and estimating how responsive retirement ages are to changes in income opportunities. It is the first book length study to combine evidence on private pension and Social Security institutions with econometric evidence on the determinants of retirement behavior, providing new empirical results that shed light on current policy issues. Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security reveals the importance of earnings, private pensions, and Social Security benefits compared to health, mandatory retirement, and other noneconomic factors in determining retirement patterns; the amounts of private pension and Social Security benefits that workers would receive at alternate retirement ages; the prospective budget sets facing potential retirees from ages 60 to 68; and variation across pension plans in the gains or losses from deferring retirement. It describes regression models showing that retirement patterns can be explained in part by the retirement income streams available at age 60 and by the gain in retirement income if retirement is postponed to age 65, and multinomial logit and ordered logit models which formulate the retirement decision in a utility-based framework while accounting for unmeasured preferences of individuals and nonlinearities in income opportunities. The book predicts the responsiveness of retirement ages and retirement incomes to reductions in Social Security benefits, using several different prediction methods including a new one published here for the first time. And it explains the differences in average retirement ages among workers in different pension plans in terms of differences in the economic rewards for deferring retirement and differences in workers' taste for income and leisure.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary S. Fields & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1984. "Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262060914, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262060914

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item


    retirement; pension; social security;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262060914. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Kristin Waites (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.