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Earning Distribution and Labour Supply after a Retirement Earnings Test Reform


  • Hernæs, Erik

    () (Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Jia, Zhiyang

    () (Statistics Norway,)


Norwegian administrative data are used to evaluate the impact of a doubling of the threshold in the retirement earnings test. We find almost no impact on the extensive margin, but a positive effect on the intensive margin. This positive effect is uneven over the earnings distribution, and concentrated on workers around the threshold, increasing with exposure to the reform and leading to a decrease in earnings inequality. Individuals who remain active until retirement age respond more to the reform. Conditional on pre-reform earnings, we find little evidence that individual characteristics such as working histories influence the responsiveness to the reform

Suggested Citation

  • Hernæs, Erik & Jia, Zhiyang, 2012. "Earning Distribution and Labour Supply after a Retirement Earnings Test Reform," Memorandum 01/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2012_001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
    3. Dahl, Svenn-Åge & Nilsen, Øivind Anti & Vaage, Kjell, 2002. "Gender Differences in Early Retirement Behaviour," Working Papers in Economics 02/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    4. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    5. Song, Jae G. & Manchester, Joyce, 2007. "New evidence on earnings and benefit claims following changes in the retirement earnings test in 2000," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 669-700, April.
    6. Engelhardt, Gary V. & Kumar, Anil, 2009. "The repeal of the retirement earnings test and the labor supply of older men," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(04), pages 429-450, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian N. Brinch & Erik Hernæs & Zhiyang Jia, 2017. "Salience and Social Security Benefits," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 265-297.
    2. Даниелян, Владимир, 2016. "Детерминанты Пенсионного Возраста: Обзор Исследований
      [Determinants of Retirement Age: A Review of Research]
      ," MPRA Paper 73865, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Hernaes, Erik & Markussen, Simen & Piggott, John & Røed, Knut, 2015. "Pension Reform and Labor Supply: Flexibility vs. Prescription," IZA Discussion Papers 8812, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Dennis Fredriksen & Erling Holmøy & Birger Strøm & Nils Martin Stølen, 2015. "Fiscal effects of the Norwegian pension reform. A micro-macro assessment," Discussion Papers 821, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item


    retirement earnings test; benefit entitlement; labour supply behaviour; heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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