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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
Contact details of provider: Postal:
The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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  1. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eric French, 2000. "The effects of health, wealth, and wages on labor supply and retirement behavior," Working Paper Series WP-00-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. 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.
  4. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1986. "A Structural Retirement Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 555-84, May.
  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. Hamish Low & Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2006. "Wage risk and employment risk over the life cycle," IFS Working Papers W06/27, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. 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.
  8. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and market work: is Scandinavia an outlier?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(1), pages 59-85, July.
  9. Tobias Laun, 2012. "Optimal Social Insurance with Endogenous Health," 2012 Meeting Papers 438, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. 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.
  11. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-80, September.
  12. 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.
  13. Rust, J., 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Working papers 9430, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. 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.
  15. Eric French & Jae Song, 2014. "The Effect of Disability Insurance Receipt on Labor Supply," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 291-337, May.
  16. 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.
  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. 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.
  19. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  20. 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.
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