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Reforming Early Retirement in Europe, Japan and the USA

Author

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  • Ebbinghaus, Bernhard

    (Professor of Macrosociology at the University of Mannheim)

Abstract

Since the 1970s early exit from work has become a major challenge in modern welfare states. Governments, employers, and unions alike once thought of early retirement as a peaceful solution to the economic problems of mass unemployment and industrial restructuring. Today governments and international organizations advocate the postponement of retirement and an increase in activity among older workers. Comparing the USA, eight European countries, and Japan, this book demonstrates significant cross-national differences in early retirement across countries and over time. The study evaluates the impact of major variations in welfare regimes, production systems, and labor relations. It stresses the importance of the 'pull factor' of extensive welfare state provisions, particularly in Continental Europe; the 'push factor' of labor shedding strategies by firms, particularly in Anglo-American market economies; and the role of employers and worker representatives in negotiating retirement policies, particularly in coordinated market economies. Over the last three decades, early retirement has become a popular social policy and employment practice in the workplace, adding to the fiscal crises and employment problems of today's welfare states. Attempts to reverse early retirement policies have led to major reform debates. Unilateral government policies to cut back on social benefits have not had the expected employment results due to resistance from employers, workers, and their organizations. Successful reforms require the cooperation of both sides. This study provides comprehensive empirical analysis and a balanced approach to studying both the pull and the push factors affecting early exit from work needed to understand the development of early retirement regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Ebbinghaus, Bernhard, 2008. "Reforming Early Retirement in Europe, Japan and the USA," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199553396.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780199553396
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wörz, Markus, 2011. "Old-age provisions in Germany: Changes in the retirement system since the 1980s," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2011-208, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    2. Louis Chauvel & Eyal Bar-Haim, 2016. "Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) and Varieties of Distributions (VoD): How Welfare Regimes Affect the Pre- and Post-Transfer Shapes of Inequalities?," LIS Working papers 677, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Wörz, Markus, 2011. "Financial consequences of falling ill: Changes in the German health insurance system since the 1980s," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2011-209, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    4. Eichhorst, Werner & Marx, Paul, 2009. "Reforming German Labor Market Institutions: A Dual Path to Flexibility," IZA Discussion Papers 4100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Martin Hering, 2009. "A New Bismarckian Regime? Path Dependence and Possible Regime Shifts in Korea’s Evolving Pension System," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 262, McMaster University.
    6. Gerke, Oke & Lauridsen, Jørgen T., 2013. "Determinants of early retirement in Denmark. An empirical investigation using SHARE data," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 4/2013, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
    7. Ebbinghaus, Bernhard & Eichhorst, Werner, 2006. "Employment Regulation and Labor Market Policy in Germany, 1991-2005," IZA Discussion Papers 2505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:aia:aiaswp:wp52 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Malene Kallestrup-Lamb & Anders Bredahl Kock & Johannes Tang Kristensen, 2016. "Lassoing the Determinants of Retirement," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(8-10), pages 1522-1561, December.
    10. Martin Hering, 2008. "Grand Coalitions for Unpopular Reforms: Building a Cross-Party Consensus to Raise the Retirement Age," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 233, McMaster University.
    11. Malene Kallestrup-Lamb, 2011. "The Role of the Spouse in Early Retirement Decisions for Older Workers," CREATES Research Papers 2011-38, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    12. Carmen Petrovici & Jörg Neugschwender, 2014. "Who can (still) afford to retire early? Cross-country comparison of incomes of senior workers and young retirees using LIS data for 2007 & 2010," LIS Working papers 608, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    13. Kemmerling, Achim, 2007. "The end of work or work without end? The role of voters' beliefs in shaping policies of early exit," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2007-108, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    14. Starke, Peter & Kaasch, Alexandra & van Hooren, Franca, 2011. "Explaining the variety of social policy responses to economic crisis: How parties and welfare state structures interact," TranState Working Papers 154, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
    15. Eichhorst, Werner & Boeri, Tito & Braga, Michela & De Coen, An & Galasso, Vincenzo & Gerard, Maarten & Kendzia, Michael J. & Mayrhuber, Christine & Pedersen, Jakob Louis & Schmidl, Ricarda & Steiber, , 2013. "Report No. 53: Combining the Entry of Young People in the Labour Market with the Retention of Older Workers," IZA Research Reports 53, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Huo, Jingjing, 2015. "How Nations Innovate: The Political Economy of Technological Innovation in Affluent Capitalist Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198735847.
    17. Streeck, Wolfgang & Trampusch, Christine, 2005. "Economic reform and the political economy of the German welfare state," MPIfG Working Paper 05/2, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    18. Wörz, Markus, 2011. "Unemployment compensation in Germany: Provisions and institutional changes since the 1980s," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2011-206, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    19. Karsten Hank & Marcel Erlinghagen, 2011. "Perceptions of Job Security in Europe’s Ageing Workforce," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 103(3), pages 427-442, September.
    20. David Wright, 2015. "How Have Employment Transitions for Older Workers in Germany and the UK Changed?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 782, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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