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Senior activity rate, retirement incentives and labor relations


  • Hélène Blake

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Marc Sangnier

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris, PSE - Paris School of Economics)


How is it that populations react so differently to policy incentives among developed countries? We noticed that senior employment rates not only differ in level strikingly from one country to another, they also differ in their reaction to retirement incentives set by governments. We show the importance of trust given to the employer in wage negotiations by a simple trade-off model. According to this model, reaction of the senior activity rate to policy changes depends on the properties of the distribution of trust to employers at the country level. We then identify these properties by an empirical study based on panel data for nineteen OECD countries from 1980 to 2004. We show that the elasticity of senior males labor force participation rate to retirement incentives is stronger in countries with better and more homogeneously distributed working conditions. This results also applies to countries with higher generalized trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Hélène Blake & Marc Sangnier, 2010. "Senior activity rate, retirement incentives and labor relations," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564826, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564826
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giavazzi, Francesco & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Serafinelli, Michel, 2009. "Culture, Policies and Labor Market Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 7536, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Romain Duval, 2004. "Retirement Behaviour in OECD Countries: Impact of Old-Age Pension Schemes and other Social Transfer Programmes," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(2), pages 7-50.
    3. Liebman, Jeffrey B. & Luttmer, Erzo F.P. & Seif, David G., 2009. "Labor supply responses to marginal Social Security benefits: Evidence from discontinuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1208-1223, December.
    4. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & Pablo Querubin & James A. Robinson, 2008. "When Does Policy Reform Work? The Case of Central Bank Independence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 351-429.
    5. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2008. "Can Policy Interact with Culture? Minimum Wage and the Quality of Labor Relations," Working Papers hal-00972820, HAL.
    6. Philippe Aghion & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2011. "Civil Society And The State: The Interplay Between Cooperation And Minimum Wage Regulation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 3-42, February.
    7. Olivier Blanchard & Thomas Philippon, 2004. "The Quality of Labor Relations and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 10590, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Cheron, Arnaud & Khaskhoussi, Fouad & Khaskhoussi, Tarek & Langot, François, 2004. "Voluntary and involuntary retirement decision : does real wage rigidity affects the effectiveness of pension reforms ?," MPRA Paper 9119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Romain Duval, 2003. "The Retirement Effects of Old-Age Pension and Early Retirement Schemes in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 370, OECD Publishing.
    10. Galasso, Vincenzo & Profeta, Paola, 2002. "The political economy of social security: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, March.
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    1. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:2:p:163-188 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    early retirement incentives; labor relations; seniors activity rate; trust; incitations au départ à la retraite; relation au travail; taux d'activité des seniors; confiance;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General


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