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Pension Reform and Labor Supply: Flexibility vs. Prescription

Author

Listed:
  • Hernaes, Erik

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Markussen, Simen

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Piggott, John

    () (University of New South Wales)

  • Røed, Knut

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

Abstract

We exploit a comprehensive restructuring of the early retirement system in Norway in 2011 to examine labor supply responses to alternative pension reform strategies relying on improved work incentives (flexibility) or increased access ages (prescription), respectively. We find that increasing the returns to work is a powerful policy tool: The removal of the earnings test at age 63 led to an immediate increase in average annual labor earnings among the affected mature workers by around $14,700 (NOK 90,000). The implied uncompensated labor earnings elasticity (the percentage change in average gross earnings relative to the percentage change in average work-incentives) is around 0.25.

Suggested Citation

  • Hernaes, Erik & Markussen, Simen & Piggott, John & Røed, Knut, 2015. "Pension Reform and Labor Supply: Flexibility vs. Prescription," IZA Discussion Papers 8812, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8812
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Staubli, Stefan & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Does Raising the Retirement Age Increase Employment of Older Workers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8510, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Luc Behaghel & David M. Blau, 2012. "Framing Social Security Reform: Behavioral Responses to Changes in the Full Retirement Age," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 41-67, November.
    3. Erik HernæS & Zhiyang Jia, 2013. "Earnings Distribution and Labour Supply after a Retirement Earnings Test Reform," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(3), pages 410-434, June.
    4. Leora Friedberg, 2000. "The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 48-63, February.
    5. Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens, 2008. "What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Pension Knowledge and Retirement Decision-Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 253-266, May.
    6. Luc Behaghel & David M. Blau, 2012. "Framing Social Security Reform: Behavioral Responses to Changes in the Full Retirement Age," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 41-67, November.
    7. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1999. "How do retirement tests affect the labour supply of older men?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 27-51, January.
    8. Dahl, Svenn-Åge & Nilsen, Øivind Anti & Vaage, Kjell, 2002. "Gender Differences in Early Retirement Behaviour," Working Papers in Economics 02/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    9. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 2004. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Micro-Estimation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub04-1, December.
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    11. Song, Jae G. & Manchester, Joyce, 2007. "New evidence on earnings and benefit claims following changes in the retirement earnings test in 2000," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 669-700, April.
    12. 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.
    13. Vestad, Ola Lotherington, 2013. "Labour supply effects of early retirement provision," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 98-109.
    14. 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.
    15. Jonathan Gruber & David A. Wise, 1999. "Social Security and Retirement around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number grub99-1, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hernæs, Erik & Markussen, Simen & Piggott, John & Røed, Knut, 2016. "Pension reform and labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 39-55.
    2. repec:eee:labeco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:247-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dennis Fredriksen & Nils Martin Stølen, 2015. "Life time pension benefits relative to life time contributions," Discussion Papers 825, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    early retirement; labor supply; pension reform; program evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • 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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