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Retire Later or Work Harder?

Author

Listed:
  • Bell, David N.F.

    () (University of Stirling)

  • Hart, Robert A.

    () (University of Stirling)

Abstract

We compare two policies of increasing British state pension provision: (a) increase the pensionable age of men and women, (b) maintain the existing retirement age but require older workers to work longer per-period hours. There are reasons for policy makers to give serious consideration to the under-researched alternative (b). First, from wage - hours contract theory we know that there are potential gains to both workers and firms of allowing hours to rise in work experience. Second, there is strong evidence that job satisfaction rises in age. Third, there has in any case been a significant overall increase in the hours supplied by older workers in the last two decades. We review the relevant theory, model the trade-off between later retirement versus increased work intensity, produce relevant background facts, and provide estimates of the policy trade-offs.

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, David N.F. & Hart, Robert A., 2010. "Retire Later or Work Harder?," IZA Discussion Papers 4720, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4720
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1986. "A Structural Retirement Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 555-584, May.
    2. Hart Robert A. & Ma Yue, 2008. "Wages, Hours and Human Capital Over the Life Cycle," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(5-6), pages 446-464, October.
    3. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    4. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-482, June.
    5. Malcomson, James M., 1999. "Individual employment contracts," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 2291-2372 Elsevier.
    6. Lorne Carmichael, 1983. "Firm-Specific Human Capital and Promotion Ladders," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(1), pages 251-258, Spring.
    7. F. P. R. Brechling, 1965. "The Relationship between Output and Employment in British Manufacturing Industries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 187-216.
    8. Hart, Robert A. & Ma, Yue, 2010. "Wage-hours contracts, overtime working and premium pay," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 170-179, January.
    9. Isao Ohashi, 2005. "Wages, Hours Of Work And Job Satisfaction Of Retirement-Age Workers," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 188-209.
    10. Hutchens, Robert M, 1989. "Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 49-64, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    older workers; statutory retirement age; hours of work;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • 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

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