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Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire? Revised Version of Working Paper 220, Economics Series, October 2007

  • Ichino, Andrea

    (University Bologna)

  • Schwerdt, Guido

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

    (Department of Economics, University of Linz, and Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    (Department of Economics, University of Zurich)

We study whether employment prospects of old and young workers differ after a plant closure. Using Austrian administrative data, we show that old and young workers face similar displacement costs in terms of employment in the long-run, but old workers lose considerably more initially and gain later. We interpret these findings using a search model with retirement as an absorbing state, that we calibrate to match the observed patterns. Our finding is that the dynamics of relative employment losses of old versus young workers after a displacement are mainly explained by different opportunities of transition into retirement. In contrast, differences in layoff rates and job offer arrival rates cannot explain these patterns. Our results support the idea that retirement incentives, more than weak labor demand, are responsible for the low employment rates of older workers.

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Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Economics Series with number 302.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihsesp:302
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  1. Luc Behaghel & Bruno Crépon & Béatrice Sédillot, 2008. "The perverse effects of partial employment protection reform: The case of French older workers," Post-Print halshs-00754293, HAL.
  2. Andrea Ichino & Guido Schwerdt & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Josef Zweimüller, 2014. "Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire?," Sciences Po publications 27, Sciences Po.
  3. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Helmut Hofer & Reinhard Koman, 2006. "Social security and retirement incentives in Austria," Empirica, Springer, vol. 33(5), pages 285-313, December.
  5. repec:clu:wpaper:0910-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Roberto Leombruni & Claudia Villosio, 2005. "Employability of Older Workers in Italy and Europe," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 43, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  7. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2010. "Does the welfare state make older workers unemployable?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1003, CEPREMAP.
  8. Hakola, Tuulia & Uusitalo, Roope, 2005. "Not so voluntary retirement decisions? Evidence from a pension reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2121-2136, December.
  9. Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian Social Security Database," NRN working papers 2009-03, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    • Josef Zweimüller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Rafael Lalive & Andreas Kuhn & Jean-Philippe Wuellrich & Oliver Ruf & Simon Büchi, 2009. "Austrian social security database," IEW - Working Papers 410, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Guido Schwerdt, 2008. "Labor Turnover before Plant Closure: ‘Leaving the Sinking Ship’ vs. ‘Captain Throwing Ballast Overboard’," CESifo Working Paper Series 2252, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Kristiina Huttunen & Jarle Møen & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "How Destructive Is Creative Destruction? Effects Of Job Loss On Job Mobility, Withdrawal And Income," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 840-870, October.
  12. Alan B. Krueger & Andreas I. Mueller, 2012. "The Lot Of The Unemployed: A Time Use Perspective," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 765-794, 08.
  13. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2001. "Job Loss and Employment Patterns of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 484-521, April.
  14. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  15. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2013. "The Life-Cycle Profile of Time Spent on Job Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 111-16, May.
  16. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
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