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Evaluating pension portability reforms. the tax reform act of 1986 as a natural experiment

  • Hildebrand, Vincent
  • Andrietti, Vincenzo

This paper uses the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA86) as a natural experiment to evaluate the job mobility response of prime aged US employees participating into employer sponsored defined benefit (DB) pension plans to a reduction in the vesting period for pension rights accrual. The repeated panel data design of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) allows us to implement a "difference-in-difference" identification strategy using data from pre and post-reform periods. The effect of the policy change is identified as the difference between the change in predicted voluntary job mobility of the treated group and the change in predicted voluntary job mobility of the control group, over the period under study. We find that the reform had no significant effects on voluntary job mobility of the treated group. Our findings are robust to the use of different control groups and different pre/post reform samples.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía in its series UC3M Working papers. Economics with number we045220.

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Date of creation: Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we045220
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  1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  2. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Olivia S. Mitchell, 1983. "Fringe Benefits and the Cost of Changing Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 37(1), pages 70-78, October.
  4. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & David A. Wise, 1985. "Labor Compensation and the Structure of Private Pension Plans: Evidence for Contractual versus Spot Labor Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 55-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1994. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is there Evidence of Job-Lock?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 27-54.
  6. Vincenzo Andrietti & Vincent Hildebrand, 2001. "Pension Portability and Labour Mobility in the United States. New Evidence from SIPP Data," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 42, McMaster University.
  7. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1993. "Pensions, Bonding, and Lifetime Jobs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 463-481.
  8. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1988. "Why Do Pensions Reduce Mobility?," NBER Working Papers 2509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
  10. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
  11. Vincenzo Andrietti & Vincent Hildebrand, 2001. "Pension Portability and Labour Mobility in the United States. New Evidence from the SIPP Data," CeRP Working Papers 10, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  12. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Robert G. Valletta, 1996. "The Effects of Employer-Provided Health Insurance on Worker Mobility," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 439-455, April.
  13. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
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