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

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  • Andrietti, Vincenzo
  • Hildebrand, Vincent

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrietti, Vincenzo & Hildebrand, Vincent, 2004. "Evaluating pension portability reforms. the tax reform act of 1986 as a natural experiment," UC3M Working papers. Economics we045220, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we045220
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-161, April.
    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).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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