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Social Security and the job search behavior of workers approaching retirement


  • Jose Ignacio García Pérez
  • Alfonso R. Sánchez Martín


This paper explores the links between unemployment, retirement and their associated public insurance programs. The analysis combines the development of a life-cycle model of search and retirement with a detailed exploration of the empirical regularities using a Spanish administrative data-set based on employment histories. Our ultimate goal is to uncover the relative contribution of bad institutional incentives versus poor labor demand to the observed low reemployment rates of Spanish workers aged 55 or over. We find that the low labor supply of the unemployed younger than 60 (the minimum retirement age) is, according to our model, largely the product of the poor conditions in the Spanish labor market. The disincentives in the regulations would not stop these workers from searching if presented with higher job offer rates. In sharp contrast, improvements in incentives will make a real difference for workers over 60. In particular, we explore the effects of changing the pension rules to link early retirement penalties to the age when the individual stops paying contributions. This reform removes the incentive to stay unemployed without searching, encouraging individuals to either retire or actively engage in a search process. As a result, the implicit fnancial liabilities of the pension system are reduced, to the extent that it would be possible to compensate all the workers that suffer direct welfare losses through the reform.

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  • Jose Ignacio García Pérez & Alfonso R. Sánchez Martín, 2010. "Social Security and the job search behavior of workers approaching retirement," Working Papers 2010-26, FEDEA.
  • Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2010-26

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. José Ignacio García & Alfonso R. Sánchez Martín, 2008. "Social security and the search behaviour of workers approaching retirement," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2008/10, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    2. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Alfonso R. Sánchez Martín, 2007. "An evaluation of the life cycle effects of minimum pensions on retirement behavior," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(5), pages 923-950.
    3. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Debra S. Dwyer & Frank Heiland & Warren C. Sanderson, 2006. "Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations: A Solution to the New Early Retirement Puzzle," Department of Economics Working Papers 06-05, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    4. Bernard Casey & Howard Oxley & Edward R. Whitehouse & Pablo Antolín & Romain Duval & Willi Leibfritz, 2003. "Policies for an Ageing Society: Recent Measures and Areas for Further Reform," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 369, OECD Publishing.
    5. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Debra Sabatini Dwyer & Warren Sanderson, 2006. "A Dynamic Model of Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations: A Solution to the New Early Retirement Puzzle," Working Papers wp134, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sergi Jiménez-Martín, 2014. "The incentive effects of minimum pensions," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-84, August.

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