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A Life Cycle Model of Health and Retirement: The Case of Swedish Pension Reform

In this paper we develop a life cycle model of labor supply and retirement to study the interactions between health and the labor supply behavior of older workers, in particular disability insurance and pension claiming. In our framework, individuals choose when to stop working and, given eligibility criteria, when/if to apply for disability and pension benefits. Individuals care about their health and can partially insure against health shocks by investing in health. We use the model to study the labor supply implications of the recent Swedish pension reform. We find that the new pension system creates big incentives for the continued employment of older workers. In particular, the model predicts an increase in the average retirement age of more than two years.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 741.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 06 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Laun, Tobias and Johanna Wallenius, 'A Life Cycle Model of Health and Retirement: The Case of Swedish Pension Reform' in Journal of Public Economics, 2015, pages 127-136.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0741
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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1988. "Pensions, The Option Value of Work, and Retirement," NBER Working Papers 2686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eric French & Jae Song, 2009. "The effect of disability insurance receipt on labor supply," Working Paper Series WP-09-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. John Rust & Christopher Phelan, 1997. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 781-832, July.
  4. Eric French, 2004. "The Effects of Health, Wealth and Wages on Labor Supply and Retirement Behavior," 2004 Meeting Papers 96, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Pozzebon, Silvana & Mitchell, Olivia S, 1989. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 2(1), pages 39-53.
  6. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  7. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2002. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: Micro Estimation," NBER Working Papers 9407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2008. "Wage risk and employment risk over the life cycle," IFS Working Papers W08/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Lisa Jönsson & Mårten Palme & Ingemar Svensson, 2011. "Disability Insurance, Population Health and Employment in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 17054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1983. "A Structural Retirement Model," NBER Working Papers 1237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and Market Work: Is Scandinavia an Outlier?," NBER Working Papers 12890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan & David A. Wise, 2009. "Social Security Programs and Retirement Around the World: The Relationship to Youth Employment, Introduction and Summary," NBER Working Papers 14647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Svend E. Hougaard Jensen & Morten I. Lau & Panu Poutvaara, 2004. "Efficiency and Equity Aspects of Alternative Social Security Rules," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(3), pages 325-, September.
  14. Laun, Tobias & Wallenius, Johanna, 2012. "A Life Cycle Model of Health and Retirement: The Case of Swedish Pension Reform," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 741, Stockholm School of Economics.
  15. Courtney C. Coile & Phillip B. Levine, 2006. "Labor Market Shocks and Retirement: Do Government Programs Matter?," NBER Working Papers 12559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Laun, Tobias, 2012. "Optimal Social Insurance with Endogenous Health," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 742, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2012.
  17. Wallenius, Johanna, 2013. "Social security and cross-country differences in hours: A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2466-2482.
  18. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2013. "Nonconvexities, Retirement, and the Elasticity of Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1445-62, June.
  19. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Future Social Security Entitlements and the Retirement Decision," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 234-246, May.
  20. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
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