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Social Insurance and Retirement: A Cross-Country Perspective

In this paper we study the role of social insurance, namely old-age pensions, disability insurance and healthcare, in accounting for the differing labor supply patterns of older individuals across OECD countries. To this end, we develop a life cycle model of labor supply and health with heterogeneous agents. The key features of the framework are: (1) people choose when to stop working, and when/if to apply for disability and pension benefits, (2) the awarding of disability insurance benefits is imperfectly correlated with health, and (3) people can partially insure against health shocks by investing in health, the cost of which is dependent on health insurance coverage. We find that the incentives faced by older workers differ hugely across countries. In fact, based solely on differences in social insurance programs, the model predicts even more cross-country variation in the employment rates of people aged 55-64 than we observe in the data.

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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 744.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 25 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0744
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Lee Ohanian & Andrea Raffo & Richard Rogerson, 2006. "Long-Term Changes in Labor Supply and Taxes: Evidence from OECD Countries, 1956-2004," NBER Working Papers 12786, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Johansson, Per & Laun, Lisa & Laun, Tobias, 2013. "Screening stringency in the disability insurance program," Working Paper Series 2013:10, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Taxation and Market Work: Is Scandinavia an Outlier?," NBER Working Papers 12890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. C Radha Iyengar & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2007. "The Political Economy of the Disability Insurance. Theory and Evidence of Gubernatorial Learning from Social Security Administration Monitoring," CeRP Working Papers 70, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
  5. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2007. "Do Taxes Explain European Employment? Indivisible Labor, Human Capital, Lotteries, and Savings," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 181-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Erosa, Andrés & Fuster, Luisa & Kambourov, Gueorgui, 2012. "Labor supply and government programs: A cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 84-107.
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