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The Early Retirement Burden: Assessing the Costs of the Continued Prevalence of Early Retirement in OECD Countries

Author

Listed:
  • Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor

    () (University of Iceland)

  • Orszag, Mike

    () (Towers Watson)

Abstract

Despite substantial increases in longevity, the age of retirement in the industrialized countries has steadily fallen throughout most of the 20th century. In France, for instance, the employment-population ratio of 55 -64 year-old males fell from 74% in 1970 to 38.5% in 2000. In most other OECD countries, labor force participation rates for those 65 and above have fallen significantly. The economic cost of low labor market participation, in terms of lost output, benefit payments, and lower tax base is substantial. However, part of the cost of low labor market participation is cyclical or structural and hence separate from the costs of early retirement. This paper develops a simple framework to assess the specific costs of early retirement and applies it using data from the OECD countries. More significantly, we find that the costs associated with early retirement are projected to rise considerably in the next ten years from 7.6% of output in 2003 to 9.1% of output in 2010. This projected rise in the costs of early retirement over the course of the rest of the decade is slightly larger than the percentage point rise in the costs of early retirement over the twenty year period from 1982 to 2003. The projected rise in costs over the course of the next decade is largely due to population ageing, whereas the rise in costs over the past twenty years was primarily due to lower labor force participation of older workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Herbertsson, Tryggvi Thor & Orszag, Mike, 2003. "The Early Retirement Burden: Assessing the Costs of the Continued Prevalence of Early Retirement in OECD Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp816
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Glomm, Gerhard & Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung, 2009. "Macroeconomic implications of early retirement in the public sector: The case of Brazil," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 777-797, April.
    2. Rossana Merola & Douglas Sutherland, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 3. Long-Run Projections and Fiscal Gap Calculations," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 934, OECD Publishing.
    3. Christos Koulovatianos & Carsten Schröder & Ulrich Schmidt, 2005. "Non-Market Time and Household Well-Being," Vienna Economics Papers 0507, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    4. Julian Diaz Saavedra, 2013. "Age-dependent Taxation, Retirement Behavior, and Work Hours Over the Life Cycle," ThE Papers 13/09, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    5. Nick Adnett & Stephen Hardy, 2007. "The peculiar case of age discrimination: Americanising the European social model?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 29-41, February.
    6. Bodor, Andras & Robalino, David & Rutkowski, Michal, 2008. "How Mandatory Pensions Affect Labor Supply Decisions and Human Capital Accumulation? Options to Bridge the Gap between Economic Theory and Policy Analysis," MPRA Paper 12046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Kemmerling, Achim, 2007. "The end of work or work without end? The role of voters' beliefs in shaping policies of early exit," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2007-108, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    8. Van Bui & Michael Stolpe, 2010. "The impact of new drug launches on the loss of labor from disease and injury: evidence from German panel data," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 315-346, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    early retirement; labor supply/demand; foregone output;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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