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Closing Routes to Retirement: How Do People Respond?

Listed author(s):
  • Geyer, Johannes

    ()

    (DIW Berlin)

  • Welteke, Clara

    ()

    (DIW Berlin)

We present quasi-experimental evidence on the employment effects of an unprecedented large increase in the early retirement age (ERA). Raising the ERA has the potential to extend contribution periods and to reduce the number of pension beneficiaries at the same time, if employment exits are successfully delayed. However, workers may not be able to work longer or may choose other social support programs as exit routes from employment. We study the effects of the ERA increase on employment and potential program substitution in a regression-discontinuity framework. Germany abolished an important early retirement program for women born after 1951, effectively raising the ERA for women by three years. We analyze the effects of this huge increase on employment, unemployment, disability pensions, and inactivity rates. Our results suggest that the reform increased both employment and unemployment rates of women age 60 and over. However, we do not find evidence for active program substitution from employment into alternative social support programs. Instead employed women remained employed and unemployed women remained unemployed. The results suggest an increase in inequality within the affected cohorts.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10681.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10681
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  1. Lukas Inderbitzin & Stefan Staubli & Josef Zweimüller, 2016. "Extended Unemployment Benefits and Early Retirement: Program Complementarity and Program Substitution," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 253-288, February.
  2. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  3. Giesecke, Matthias & Kind, Michael, 2013. "Bridge Unemployment in Germany: Response in Labour Supply to an Increased Early Retirement Age," Ruhr Economic Papers 410, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  4. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2004. "Do changes in pension incentives affect retirement? A longitudinal study of subjective retirement expectations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1307-1333, July.
  5. Umut Oguzoglu & Cain Polidano & Ha Vu, 2016. "Impacts from Delaying Access to Retirement Benefits on Welfare Receipt and Expenditure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n20, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  6. Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2013. "Does raising the early retirement age increase employment of older workers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 17-32.
  7. Karlström, Anders & Palme, Mårten & Svensson, Ingemar, 2008. "The employment effect of stricter rules for eligibility for DI: Evidence from a natural experiment in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2071-2082, October.
  8. Staubli, Stefan, 2011. "The impact of stricter criteria for disability insurance on labor force participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1223-1235, October.
  9. Lex Borghans & Anne C. Gielen & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2014. "Social Support Substitution and the Earnings Rebound: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity in Disability Insurance Reform," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 34-70, November.
  10. Axel Boersch-Supan & Christina B. Wilke, 2004. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," NBER Working Papers 10525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hanel, Barbara & Riphahn, Regina T., 2012. "The timing of retirement — New evidence from Swiss female workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 718-728.
  12. Kadir Atalay & Garry F. Barrett, 2015. "The Impact of Age Pension Eligibility Age on Retirement and Program Dependence: Evidence from an Australian Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 71-87, March.
  13. Geyer, Johannes & Engels, Barbara & Haan, Peter, 2016. "Changing incentives for early retirement - Causal evidence from a cohort based pension reform," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145737, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  14. Krueger, Alan B & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1992. "The Effect of Social Security on Labor Supply: A Cohort Analysis of the Notch Generation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 412-437, October.
  15. Jonathan Cribb & Carl Emmerson & Gemma Tetlow, 2014. "Labour supply effects of increasing the female state pension age in the UK from age 60 to 62," IFS Working Papers W14/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. repec:zbw:rwirep:0410 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Norma B. Coe & Kelly Haverstick, 2010. "Measuring the Spillover to Disability Insurance Due to the Rise in the Full Retirement Age," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2010-20, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2010.
  18. Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, 2009. "Labor supply effects of the recent social security benefit cuts: Empirical estimates using cohort discontinuities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1224-1233, December.
  19. Courtney Coile & Jonathan Gruber, 2007. "Future Social Security Entitlements and the Retirement Decision," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 234-246, May.
  20. Ralf K. Himmelreicher & Michael Stegmann, 2008. "European Data Watch: New possibilities for socio-economic research through longitudinal data from the Research Data Center of the Federal German Pension Insurance (FDZ-RV)," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 128(4), pages 647-660.
  21. 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.
  22. Duggan, Mark & Singleton, Perry & Song, Jae, 2007. "Aching to retire? The rise in the full retirement age and its impact on the social security disability rolls," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1327-1350, August.
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