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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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Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
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  1. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and market work: is Scandinavia an outlier?," Economic Theory, Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(1), pages 59-85, July.
  2. Rust, J., 1994. "How Social Security and Medicare Affect Retirement Behavior in a World of Incomplete Markets," Working papers 9430, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  3. Low, Hamish & Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2007. "Wage Risk and Employment Risk Over the Life Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6187, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Tobias Laun, 2012. "Optimal Social Insurance with Endogenous Health," 2012 Meeting Papers 438, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Coile, Courtney C. & Levine, Phillip B., 2007. "Labor market shocks and retirement: Do government programs matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(10), pages 1902-1919, November.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1986. "A Structural Retirement Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 555-84, May.
  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. Eric French, 2005. "The Effects of Health, Wealth, and Wages on Labour Supply and Retirement Behaviour," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 395-427.
  14. Berkovec, James & Stern, Steven, 1991. "Job Exit Behavior of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(1), pages 189-210, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Laun, Tobias & Wallenius, Johanna, 2015. "A life cycle model of health and retirement: The case of Swedish pension reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 127-136.
  17. Silvana Pozzebon & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1986. "Married Women's Retirement Behavior," NBER Working Papers 2104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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