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How Do Unemployed Workers Behave Prior to Retirement? A Multi-State Multiple-Spell Approach


  • Ga?ecka-Burdziak, Ewa

    () (Warsaw School of Economics)

  • Góra, Marek

    () (Warsaw School of Economics)


We examine the behaviour of unemployed older workers up to five years prior to the point at which they can transition out of unemployment because they become eligible to receive pension benefits. We use a unique dataset covering the unemployment histories (longitudinal data) of individuals born between 1940 and 1965 who were registered with any of the public employment offices in Poland. Thus, we study a whole population of individuals who experienced this type of transition over the time period 1996-2015. We examine the transition from unemployment to retirement as a multi-year process. We analyse multiple unemployment spells, identify transition pathways, and look for patterns in these transitions. Moreover, we estimate a conditional risk set model (a stratified Cox model). Our research proves that being close to the point at which they are eligible to receive pension benefits leads individuals 'wait' to fulfil these eligibility criteria.

Suggested Citation

  • Ga?ecka-Burdziak, Ewa & Góra, Marek, 2017. "How Do Unemployed Workers Behave Prior to Retirement? A Multi-State Multiple-Spell Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10680, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10680

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mario Cleves, 2000. "Analysis of multiple failure-time data with Stata," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(49).
    2. Paul Marmora & Moritz Ritter, 2015. "Unemployment and the Retirement Decisions of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 274-290, September.
    3. Ewa Gałecka-Burdziak & Marek Góra, 2016. "The impact of easy and early access to old-age benefits on exits from the labour market: a macro-micro analysis," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, December.
    4. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2001. "Duration models: specification, identification and multiple durations," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 55, pages 3381-3460 Elsevier.
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    More about this item


    elder workers unemployment; retirement; transition pathways; multiple unemployment spells; recurrent event data; longitudinal analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • 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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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