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Labour market transitions and retirement of men in the UK


  • Costas Meghir

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Yale University)

  • Edward Whitehouse

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)


We study transitions in and out of work for men over the age of forty in order to investigate the principal determinants of retirement age. We apply non-parametric techniques to describe the exit to retirement. We then estimate a multiple spell model of transitions in and out of work allowing for correlated heterogeneity across different types of spells. We also present an LM test of unobserved heterogeneity for multiple spell models. Finally, we assess the importance of economic variables in determinining transitions and we find that increased earnings in work delay job exit while increased social security benefits delay the return to work. In conjunction, the two effects imply that economic incentives may be important determinants of the retirement age.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Meghir & Edward Whitehouse, 1995. "Labour market transitions and retirement of men in the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:95/10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    2. A. Zabalza & C. Pissarides & M. Barton, 1980. "Social security and the choice between full-time work, part-time work and retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Econometric Studies in Public Finance, pages 245-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Mealli, Fabrizia & Pudney, Stephen, 1996. "Occupational Pensions and Job Mobility in Britain: Estimation of a Random-Effects Competing Risks Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(3), pages 293-320, May-June.
    4. Creedy, John & Disney, Richard & Whitehouse, Edward, 1993. "The Earnings-Related State Pension, Indexation and Lifetime Redistribution in the U.K," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(3), pages 257-278, September.
    5. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-156, January.
    6. Adrian Pagan, 1986. "Two Stage and Related Estimators and Their Applications," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 517-538.
    7. John C. Ham & Robert J. LaLonde, 1991. "Estimating the Effect of Training on Employment and Unemployment Durations: Evidence From Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 3912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gourieroux, Christian & Holly, Alberto & Monfort, Alain, 1982. "Likelihood Ratio Test, Wald Test, and Kuhn-Tucker Test in Linear Models with Inequality Constraints on the Regression Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 63-80, January.
    9. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-1180, September.
    10. Edward Whitehouse, 1990. "The abolition of the pensions 'earnings rule'," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 55-70, August.
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