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The impact of easy and early access to old-age benefits on exits from the labour market: a macro-micro analysis


  • Ewa Galecka-Burdziak

    () (Warsaw School of Economics)

  • Marek Góra

    () (Warsaw School of Economics)


We analyse whether easy and early access to old-age benefits tempts workers to become inactive. We examine the impact of old-age benefits in the light of the discouraged worker effect in Poland, a country severely experiencing the problem of population ageing. We identify cyclical properties in activity and discouraged worker rates, and estimate a set of logistic regressions to identify the determinants of exits from the labour market. In the macro analysis, the added worker effect prevails over the discouraged worker effect. The discouraged worker effect arises with a delay of a few quarters. This process is asymmetric; in duration for females and in size for males. Females often permanently leave the market, and males more likely leave the market in downturns than re-enter in expansions. In a micro perspective, if the old-age benefit becomes the main source of income for the worker within a 1-year interval, the worker is 8 to 20 times more likely to leave the workforce compared to those who receive unemployment benefits or social welfare benefits. Thus, our findings are in favour of a higher retirement age, understood as the age when workers become eligible for the old-age benefits.

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  • Ewa Galecka-Burdziak & Marek Góra, 2015. "The impact of easy and early access to old-age benefits on exits from the labour market: a macro-micro analysis," CeRP Working Papers 152, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  • Handle: RePEc:crp:wpaper:152

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maarten van Ham & Clara H. Mulder & Pieter Hooimeijer, 2001. "Local Underemployment and the Discouraged Worker Effect," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 38(10), pages 1733-1751, September.
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    3. Ewa Gałecka-Burdziak & Robert Pater, 2016. "Discouraged or Added Worker Effect: Which One Prevails in the Polish Labour Market?," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 66(3), pages 489-505, September.
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    7. Nicole Maestas & Xiaoyan Li, 2006. "Discouraged Workers? Job Search Outcomes of Older Workers," Working Papers wp133, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ewa Galecka-Burdziak & Marek Góra, 2017. "“How do unemployed workers behave prior to retirement? A multi-state multiple-spell approach”," CeRP Working Papers 170, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).

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    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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