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Pension Portability and Labour Mobility in the United States. New Evidence from SIPP Data

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  • Andrietti, Vincenzo

    (Universidad Carlos III, Madrid and CeRP, University of Turin)

  • Hildebrand, Vincent

    (York University, Toronto and CEPS/INSTEAD)

Abstract

We explore the role of employer provided pensions on job mobility choices using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation. Defined benefit plans are found to have a significant negative effect on mobility. However, we find no significant evidence that the potential pension portability losses deter job mobility among workers covered by these plans. We also find that the portability policy change implemented by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 had only minor effects on mobility. Puzzlingly, defined contribution plans, although fully portable, are found to have an impact similar to defined benefit plans. Evidence of compensation premiums accruing to workers in pension, union and health insurance covered jobs supports the view that workers are less likely to leave 'good jobs'.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrietti, Vincenzo & Hildebrand, Vincent, 2001. "Pension Portability and Labour Mobility in the United States. New Evidence from SIPP Data," IRISS Working Paper Series 2001-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2001-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard A. Ippolito, 1987. "Why Federal Workers Don't Quit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 281-299.
    2. Ippolito, Richard A, 1985. "The Labor Contract and True Economic Pension Liabilities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1031-1043, December.
    3. Newey, Whitney K & Powell, James L & Walker, James R, 1990. "Semiparametric Estimation of Selection Models: Some Empirical Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 324-328, May.
    4. Jeremy I. Bulow, 1982. "What are Corporate Pension Liabilities?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(3), pages 435-452.
    5. Gustman, Alan L. & Steinmeier, Thomas L., 1993. "Pension portability and labor mobility : Evidence from the survey of income and program participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 299-323, March.
    6. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1988. "Why Do Pensions Reduce Mobility?," NBER Working Papers 2509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    8. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Ann A. McDermed, 1993. "Pensions, Bonding, and Lifetime Jobs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(3), pages 463-481.
    9. Currie, Janet & Madrian, Brigitte C., 1999. "Health, health insurance and the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 50, pages 3309-3416 Elsevier.
    10. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-1149, September.
    11. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1995. "Pension Incentives and Job Mobility," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pijm, November.
    12. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1987. "Pensions, Efficiency Wages, and Job Mobility," NBER Working Papers 2426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lee, Jongsu & Kim, Yeonbae & Lee, Jeong-Dong & Park, Yuri, 2006. "Estimating the extent of potential competition in the Korean mobile telecommunications market: Switching costs and number portability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 107-124, January.
    2. Andrietti, Vincenzo & Hildebrand, Vincent, 2004. "Evaluating pension portability reforms. the tax reform act of 1986 as a natural experiment," UC3M Working papers. Economics we045220, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    3. World Bank, 2010. "Strengthening Caribbean Pensions : Improving Equity and Sustainability," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2847, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour mobility ; Pension portability ; Switching regression models;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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